Although he had been a Navy fighter pilot, a test pilot for NASA’s forerunner and an astronaut, Mr. Armstrong never allowed himself to be caught up in the celebrity and glamour of the space program.
“I am, and ever will be, a white socks, pocket protector, nerdy engineer,” he said in February 2000 in one a rare public appearance. “And I take a substantial amount of pride in the accomplishments of my profession.”
Full quote: ““I am, and ever will be, a white-socks, pocket-protector, nerdy engineer, born under the second law of thermodynamics, steeped in steam tables, in love with free-body diagrams, transformed by Laplace and propelled by compressible flow.”
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Nice to see heroes you can admire not just for their accomplishments at one moment in time, but for who they were as people day to day, day in and day out. In a technical domain where egos can sometimes get pretty inflated, it’s nice to see someone with more bragging rights than anyone else I can image keep his feet so firmly on the ground.