A Tribute to Neil Armstrong – StarTalk Radio Cosmic Queries

Post Date: 9 September 2012

Listen now:

Season 3, Episode 14

Neil Armstrong in Lunar Module after historic walk on Moon.
Image courtesy of NASA History Office and the NASA JSC Media Services Center.

In this, our first episode made up entirely of questions from our fans, astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson offers his own reflections and answers your Cosmic Queries about Neil A. Armstrong, the first man to walk on the Moon. From the time he met Neil Armstrong at age 14 to the private family funeral on the day of a “Blue Moon,” Neil shares his own personal memories of the humble, private NASA astronaut who took us all with him to the Moon. With the help of comic co-host Eugene Mirman, Neil responds to Cosmic Queries about Apollo 11, the future of manned space exploration and how long it would take NASA to mount a manned mission back to the Moon if we were in a new space race with China.

Eugene Mirman, comedian.

  • Richard De Almeida

    Dr. Tyson, I am an avid fan! I’m fascinated by astronomy but I fear I may not have the math skills to follow this career path. I did the Grade 11 Functions course in Grade 10 (Because I’m in a special program called the ‘IB Program’) and I got a terrible mark, a 63. This year I’m in Grade 11 and doing the Grade 12 Calculus and Vectors course, I’ve never really tried in school before because 80% and above marks used to come very easy, this year I’ve made a promise to myself that I would give it my 100% until the course is finished. I was wondering how what is the minimum mark you would say is the cut off point for having a chance in this career. If I do bad I want to be able to go into politics and help from Science from the other side but because I live in Canada (specifically Toronto) I fear that I’ll be useless, only American politics can i really make a change and help NASA’s budget and help the expansion of knowledge.

    Any response would definitely make my day, month, year, and maybe even everything I’ve dreamed of if I meet your mark requirement. Thank you for taking the time to read my dilemma.

  • Roy Jerden

    Here’s my tribute poem to Neil and Apollo 11 I completed about 10 days ago. Comments appreciated. Share if you like.

    Kiss of the Eagle

    Many eons passed on Earth, who only saw your face
    Untouched your virgin body, floating there in space
    Waxing, waning, gibbous, crescent, full and new
    Selene the Greeks would call you; Diana, Caesar knew

    Who would brave the ether, who would cross the void
    To agitate the tranquil sea you had so long enjoyed
    To place a kiss upon your lips and return to tell the tale
    Of Luna’s hidden secrets beneath her powdered veil?

    Three heroes took the final quest aboard their fiery steed
    In Apollo’s silver chariot proceeding with Godspeed
    Three days and nights they voyaged to their opalescent goal
    On Earth they watched and worried inside of mission control

    One held the craft outside the reach of Luna’s jealous grip
    While Eagle’s talons cradled two who risked the final trip
    They timidly approached her through the shadowy abyss
    Luna waited patiently and received the Eagle’s kiss

    Nations watched and cheered on Terra’s distant shore
    As one man finally took a step no one ever took before
    In our hearts and in our minds his words will be enshrined
    “That’s one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind.”

    Copyright 2012 Roy Jerden

  • Steve

    More from the Neils and much less from Eugene.

  • Fernando Salcedo

    Hey there, great show as always. This question is just regarding one of the songs you played between commercials. It is driving my crazy, What is the song that play in the commercial cut right after Eugene Mirman and Dr Tyson talked about what 1G means? (about 26:57 min on the show)
    I know, its an unusual request, but I tried midomi and Shazam and didnt work out
    thanks in advance
    Fernando Salcedo

  • Scott Meesey

    You had some beautiful music in this episode. Can you list what was used? Some of it was familiar and (due to my personality) that’s driving me CRAZY! LOL Thanks!

    • Jeff

      Scott, some of the other commenters are listing some of the songs on the episode. As mentioned in some other comments, due to a very unusual set of circumstances, we don’t have a playlist and are having trouble identifying some of the songs uses in the episode.

  • Justin Connors

    “Steve on September 11th, 2012 at 12:11 am

    More from the Neils and much less from Eugene.”

    eugene is hysterical, an excellent co-host in fact. he provides the comic relief and really keeps it interesting with the ridiculous tangents he provides. as much as i love neil, eugene is the salt to his pepper. its just so much better together. and without him this show isnt quite as engaging. (he was especially good on the videogame episodes) so if you want just your neil you can choose to avoid episodes eugene is in. otherwise stop complaining and enjoy.

  • J Lee Paul

    Mr Armstrong reminds me a little of George Washington in that they both did things that made them national heroes, and they could have exploited their popularity for personal gain, but instead they both preferred to go back to their private, ordinary lives. Very humble, modest men.

    • Jeff

      Agreed, J Lee, and our nation (and the world) are better for both of them.

  • John A.

    If the space station that’s the size of a football field wouldn’t be able to hold itself up on earth, why don’t the double digit stories tall buildings collapse under their own weight

    • Jeff

      John, in case you weren’t joking, the answer is that buildings here on Earth are engineered within and in consideration of gravity, whereas structures built in space don’t need to concern themselves with gravity.

  • boib

    ***Steve on September 11th, 2012 at 12:11 am More from the Neils and much less from Eugene.***
    I agree with your sentiments. Turn down the comedy and turn up the interesting. I’m a fan of Eugene (oh ricky you so fine) but that’s not what I want from a NdGT podcast.

  • Tyler

    @Fernando Salcedo: The one song you are referring to is called ‘Lux Aeterna’ and it’s by Clint Mansell.

    • Jeff

      Thanks for the assist, Tyler!

  • Dane

    Hmmm, not on itunes. Please update so I can listen on my ipod.

    • Jeff

      Dane, is this the only recent StarTalk Radio podcast you’re not seeing? We see it in iTunes on our end.

  • Roger

    Loved the show. Can you also list the songs from it like you done in the past?

  • Gavin

    Dude Neil you have the perfect radio voice!

  • Billy

    @Fernando Salcedo @Dane The version played in the podcast may be found under the title “Requiem For A Tower”, it is a rearrangement of the original work composed by Clint Mansell as noted above. Kronos Quartet perform the original arrangement, and I’m pretty sure you can find recordings of that as well.

    • Jeff

      Thanks, Billy. Due to a very unusual set of circumstances, we don’t have a playlist and are having trouble identifying some of the songs uses in the episode. So we appreciate your help.

  • http://www.area40.co.uk Steve

    Neil Armstrong…amazing ! I wrote a song a couple of years ago (called Neil Armstrong !) and our band – Area40 has recently recorded it for our new CD…have a listen at http://www.area40.co.uk


  • Chris

    33:00, Holy s***, is that the Shadow of Israphel theme from the Yogscast?????????

    • Jeff

      Chris, it just might be. Due to an engineering glitch, we can’t identify all of the songs used on this episode.

  • Steve

    I want a NDT mustache. Perhaps then I’d be able to understand a 3 player chess board.

    • Jeff

      Steve, if it were that simple, I’d turn my beard into a mustache.

  • http://olsonb.com Larry Olson

    One of the songs is from the movie sound track Requiem For a Dream

  • Elizabeth

    When will Star-Date be up and running?? Get on it, guys.

  • Shamim

    I’ve been wondering, too, what songs were used in this episode. I know the first one played after the intro is the main title from the miniseries “From the Earth to the Moon” and is by Michael Kamen. After all these months, I still haven’t been able to place the others.