Neil Armstrong’s sons, Rick and Mark Armstrong spoke to The Natural Aristocrat about their father’s iconic first walk on the moon.
Rick and Mark Armstrong could not be more proud of their father, legendary NASA astronaut Neil Armstrong, on the 50th Anniversary of the Apollo 11 Moon Landing. During a recent New York celebration of the timeless first walk on the moon, Neil Armstrong’s sons shared their thoughts about Apollo 11’s legacy and space education in classrooms today.
Watch the interview video with Neil Armstrong’s sons above or read the full transcript below!
Interview with Rick Armstrong and Mark Armstrong
The Natural Aristocrat [Nir Regev]: Mark, I read you sang Frank Sinatra’s “Fly Me to the Moon” with an orchestra a couple of months ago.
Mark Armstrong: Yeah, with Fred Radke and the Harry James Orchestra![Smiles]
What was that like?
They’re incredible musicians. It’s just an honor to be on stage with them.
How does it feel to continue your father’s legacy? He means so much to so many people around the world as the first man to walk on the moon.
Rick Armstrong: Really I think it was more about the Apollo legacy rather than any individual. Apollo legacy inspired many people all over the world to go on and to follow their dreams. That’s really what I think.
How do you feel about space education these days? Do you feel it’s dropped off a little bit considering today’s youth seems to be more interested in their phones than going to space? Like they lost this sense of wonder at the beginning of the Apollo missions.
Rick Armstrong: I think the kids are interested. All kids are always interested. Unfortunately, the curriculum hasn’t always kept up with that. I know I looked at my daughter’s history book a few years ago. There was one paragraph about the entire space program. That was kind of shocking to me that there wasn’t a lot more attention paid to it.
It’s something that I think really needs to be addressed because the kids interest is there. No question about it.
Mark Armstrong: I would just add that space provides this sort of blank canvas for a lot of imagination. I think the younger you get kids thinking about that, the better. There’s a lot of reason to be optimistic. There are new plans to go back to the moon in 2024, and I’m really excited about that.
Did either of you ever want to be astronauts like your father?
Mark Armstrong: Absolutely! I was very interested in becoming an astronaut. It just wasn’t clear to me what that path was. While I was on that path, I fell in love with computer technology and I spent a lot of time in Silicon Valley.
Rick Armstrong: I would love to be weightless looking down at Earth. Absolutely! That would be great.
Be sure to watch our interview with Dr. Teasel Muir-Harmony, the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum Space History Department Curator and Artifacts Expert.
Watch the Apollo’s Moon Shot finale this Sunday on Smithsonian Channel at 8 p.m. ET. You can watch the episode live on Fubo TV. Sign up now for a free seven-day trial.
You can also watch on the Smithsonian Channel’s official live stream or with a free trial of the Smithsonian Channel Plus service.