Neil Armstrong, the first man to walk on the moon as commander of the Apollo 11 mission, has died at age 82.
Armstrong became the first human to set foot on the moon on July 20, 1969. As he was about to step onto the dusty surface, he uttered the famous line: “That’s one small step for [a] man, one giant leap for mankind.”
The Twitter feed of NBC Nightly News said he died at 2:45 p.m. ET Saturday and that he had suffered complications from heart surgery he underwent earlier this month.
The ex-astronaut underwent cardiac bypass surgery just two days after his birthday on Aug. 5.
Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin, the colleague who also walked on the moon, sent out a statement late afternoon on Saturday.
"I know I am joined by millions of others in mourning the passing of a true American hero and the best pilot I ever knew," said Aldrin.
"My friend Neil took the small step but giant leap that changed the world and will forever be remembered as a landmark moment in human history. I had truly hoped that in 2019, we would be standing together along with our colleague Mike Collins to commemorate the 50th Anniversary of our moon landing. Regrettably, this is not to be. Neil will most certainly be there with us in spirit.