Neil Alden Armstrong (August 5, 1930 – August 25, 2012) was an American astronaut and the first person to walk on the Moon. He was also an aerospace engineer, naval aviator, test pilot, and university professor.
Armstrong's second and last spaceflight was as mission commander of the Apollo 11 moon landing, in July 1969. On this mission, Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin descended to the lunar surface and spent two and a half hours exploring, while Michael Collins remained in lunar orbit in the Command Module. Along with Collins and Aldrin, Armstrong was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Richard Nixon; in 1978, President Jimmy Carter presented Armstrong the Congressional Space Medal of Honor in 1978; he and his former crewmates received the Congressional Gold Medal in 2009.
In the late 1950s, Armstrong applied at a local Methodist church to lead a Boy Scout troop. When asked for his religious affiliation, he labeled himself as a Deist. His mother later said that Armstrong's religious views caused her grief and distress in later life as she was more religious.
1.) James R. Hansen (2005). First Man: The Life of Neil A. Armstrong. Simon and Schuster. p. 33. ISBN 9780743281713. "It is clear that by the time Armstrong returned from Korea in 1952 he had become a type of deist, a person whose belief in God was founded on reason rather than on revelation, and on an understanding of God's natural laws rather than on the authority of any particular creed or church doctrine. While working as a test pilot in Southern California in the late 1950s, Armstrong applied at a local Methodist church to lead a Boy Scout troop. Where the form asked for his religious affiliation, Neil wrote the word “Deist.”"
2.) James R. Hansen (2005). First Man: The Life of Neil A. Armstrong. Simon and Schuster. p. 35. ISBN 9780743281713. "[Neil Armstrong's mother] wrote on October 27, 1969, to a Methodist minister in Iowa ... “but when he was a senior in high school, and even more in college, he began wondering about the truth of Jesus Christ. I felt sure he was praying less…. [Today] he is not teaching his own two fine sons about Jesus Christ. This fact causes a million swords to be pierced through my heart constantly.”"