Neil Armstrong: Why I Didn't Walk Far on Moon

For one thing, it was really hot
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 9, 2010 5:06 PM CST
Updated Dec 12, 2010 7:16 AM CST
Neil Armstrong: Why I Didn't Walk Far on Moon
In this July 20, 1969, black-and-white file photo, taken from a television monitor, Neil Armstrong, right, trudges across the surface of the moon. Buzz Aldrin is seen closer to the craft.   (AP Photo, File)

When NPR's Robert Krulwich wondered aloud on his blog why Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin walked such a short distance on the moon—less than 100 yards—he got a surprise reply from none other than Armstrong himself. Among the reasons: NASA wanted them to stay within the range of the camera set up by Armstrong; it was hot—200 degrees Fahrenheit hot—and the astronauts weren't sure how long the coolant in their suits would last; they were too busy with experiments to go strolling.

Krulwich summarizes: "Basically, he says, we were part of a team and we were team players on a perilous, one-of-a-kind journey. Improvisation was not really an option." But he gets the feeling, "reading between the lines," that Armstrong would have loved to play. In fact, Armstrong writes: "I candidly admit that I knowingly and deliberately left the planned working area out of TV coverage to examine and photograph the interior crater walls." See the full post for Armstrong's pitch on why the US should return to the moon.
(More Neil Armstrong stories.)

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