Local Astronaut’s Career Inspired By Neil Armstrong
PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Neil Armstrong is being remembered as an American hero and pioneer.
On July 20, 1969, he was the first man to set foot on the moon.
Mike Fincke, an astronaut and native of Emsworth, was just was 2½-years-old at the time, but remembers the moment.
“It’s one of my first memories and it’s inspired me for the rest of my 45 years or so,” he said of Armstrong’s historic moment.
Armstrong was born in Ohio and was interested in flight early on.
As a teenager, he began taking flying lessons even before getting a driver’s license.
He joined the military and became a decorated combat naval pilot during the Korean War. After that, he worked as a test pilot.
As an astronaut, the world watched as he journeyed to space and made history.
Fincke says he met Armstrong several times during professional events. He describes him as quiet, kind and friendly.
“Neil valued his hard work, and he valued doing the job and doing it right, and he was never in it for his own benefit or glory,” said Fincke. “And his humbleness and his being down to earth is what everyone will remember.”
Armstrong left NASA a few years after the flight, but remained involved in the space program.
“He was always trying to inspire the next generation, and I can certainly say he inspired a lot of people in Pittsburgh, myself included.”
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