Wonders in Space: #7 Neil Armstrong

Year In Review Staff
Yahoo! News
Neil Armstrong
A pioneering astronaut and the first person to step onto the moon, Neil Armstrong will be remembered for leaving his footprints on the lunar surface and inspiring future generations to take larger leaps in space exploration. (AP Photo/NASA)

Neil Armstrong, who took a "giant leap for mankind," died at age 82, 19 days after the Mars rover landed. The Ohio native in his later years was appointed to the panels that investigated the Apollo 13 accident and the Challenger disaster. The publicity-shy Armstrong often declined requests for interviews, and he stopped giving autographs when people sold them for thousands of dollars.

Armstrong won't be the last of his kind. NASA is developing spacecraft and mission plans to send astronauts to visit an asteroid near Earth by 2025, a goal set by President Obama. In 2015, astronaut and former International Space Station commander Scott Kelly will try to set a record by spending the most consecutive days in space of any American in a single mission. (A Russian cosmonaut named Valery Polyakov holds the record at nearly 15 months.)