NASA renames building for astronaut Neil Armstrong

MALCOLM RITTER
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FILE - In this July 24, 1969 file photo, President Richard Nixon, right, greets the Apollo 11 astronauts in the quarantine van on board the U.S.S. Hornet after splashdown and recovery. The Apollo 11 crew from left are Neil Armstrong, Michael Collins, and Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin. Armstrong and Aldrin became the first men to walk on the moon after blastoff from Cape Kennedy, Fla., on July 16, 1969. (AP Photo, File)

NASA has honored one of its most famous astronauts by renaming a key building at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

It now bears the name of Neil Armstrong, the first man to walk on the moon when the Apollo 11 mission landed there 45 years ago.

Armstrong, who died in 2012, was remembered at a ceremony Monday as not only an astronaut, but also as an aerospace engineer, a test pilot and university professor. Michael Collins, who flew with him on Apollo 11, said he had a powerful combination of curiosity and intelligence, along with an intuitive grasp of flight machinery and its complexity.

Buzz Aldrin, another Apollo 11 crew member, and backup mission commander Jim Lovell also spoke at the ceremony, as did Armstrong's sons Rick and Mark.