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Maxwell Professor and Former NASA Administrator Reflects on Neil Armstrong’s Legacy
On Friday, the Neil Armstrong biopic “First Man” opens in theaters. The movie focuses on Armstrong’s life from 1961 to 1969, when he commanded Apollo 11 and took the first steps on the moon.
Sean O’Keefe is a University Professor at Syracuse University’s Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs, and former Administrator of NASA. O’Keefe shares some thoughts about Neil Armstrong below.
“I am very fortunate to have known Neil Armstrong and consider him a valued friend – he was a remarkable, inspiring fellow.
“Neil’s legacy will be an enduring and foundational part of NASA’s history. And for generations of Americans to come, he will not only be an exemplary role model for STEM education, but a person to be emulated because of his great humility and dedication to service. He was remarkable.
“I haven’t seen the movie, but I hope it gives the audience a sense of his humility. With all his accomplishments and historic feats, he was a remarkably modest man. He was self-confident without a hint of arrogance. That’s a pretty rare combination.
“Hopefully this movie, like so many other recent films – Hidden Figures, the Martian, etc. – will continue to stir our human curiosity to explore. It’s a human instinct that has served us well and is the reason for every advancement humankind has experienced.”
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