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Memories of Neil Armstrong

Personal stories of Planetary Society Members

Portrait of Apollo 11 astronaut Neil Armstrong

We at The Planetary Society are aware of how Neil Armstrong's first step onto the Moon sparked so many of our Members' lifelong interest in space. We invited them to share their stories about how Armstrong affected the course of their lives.

If you are a Planetary Society Member, you may submit your story here. If you are not a Member, you may join here

Note: to submit your story online you must have previously registered and be logged-in to our Member Center. If you have not yet registered and would like to submit your story, email your story to Don't forget to include your name.

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by Carol (Cari) Sagan Greene

October 19, 2013

I am delighted that this tribute is being made to honor Bruce Murray. Along with my brother and Lou Friedman, he helped to found The Planetary Society, the largest grassroots space interest group in the world. I would like his family to know that I am thinking of them at this difficult time... ... more »

On The Shoulders Of Giants

by Joel Goldman

October 19, 2013

I didn`t know Prof. Murray,but I think maybe he coul d fill a chapter in Prof. Steven Hawking`s book,On the Shoulders of Giants. ... more »

In Memoriam, Bruce Murray

by Jay W Preston

October 19, 2013

Out beyond earth is such a sight,

Out where the sun casts a dim light.

That’s where our cameras are destined to go,

To beam back to earth such a wonderful show.

Bruce broached an idea to powers that be,

To send out the cameras to see what’s to see.

Some images great, some images small,

Sent back to us from the planets, all.

Bruce’s mem’ry lives on in images made.

While some here on earth wish we had stayed.

So now he is gone to where we all must.

To mingle with his beloved cosmical dust.

10/19/2013 ... more »

A true gentleman

by Paul Bracken

October 13, 2013

I was having a conversation with Bruce at one of the Planetfests, when Buzz Aldrin hustled over with something to say. I remember thinking that the astronaut was clearly more deserving of Bruce's attention, yet he remained focused on our conversation as if it was the most important thing in the world at the time. I was struck by the extraordinary degree of warmth, and the genuine friendliness of the man. ... more »

Memories of Bruce from the 70s and 80s

by Bill Green

September 6, 2013

I had the privilege of working with Bruce during my years at JPL, starting when I first joined JPL in 1969, and group of us worked with Bruce and Bob Leighton at Caltech to develop the methods for removing camera distortion from the images returned from the Mariner 9, Mariner 10 and Viking Orbiter spacecraft vidicon cameras. Later he supported my organization at JPL in our successful efforts to bring the task of processing the Viking Lander image processing responsibilities to JPL. Bruce was a person who always challenged you and helped you discover that you could ... more »

As an Amateur Astronomer, (myself), I will miss Bruce!!!!

by Bill Wise

September 6, 2013

Dear Planetary Society, As a "long-time" member of the Planetary Society, (as well as a long-time Amateur astronomer), too, I will miss TERRIBBLY DR. Bruce Murray!! HE,(along with Dr. Carl Sagan), INSPIRED me ......"even more" to be involved in ASTRONOMY and (the WORLD'S) SPACE PROGRAMS (especially, I might add), the UNmanned side of NASA, (in particular the Unmanned Planetary Science Program, (which OF COURSE ((FORTUNATELY)) CONTINUES ON TODAY)!! I can only HOPE that the "sequestration" (that has tided up the federal government, ... more »

Memories from 40 years ago

by Dave Haas

September 5, 2013

I had the pleasure of working in the Image Processing Lab at JPL during the Mariner 10 mission. I didn't know Dr. Murray well, but attended many meetings in which he was a (usually vocal) participant -- always pushing for more and better imaging science. His dedication to the Mariner missions and subsequent efforts in planetary exploration has given all of us a real legacy. My sincere condolences to his family. ... more »

Remembering Bruce

by Matt Thimgan

September 5, 2013

I never personally new Bruce Murray or co-founder Carl Sagan but I greatly attribute both to my fascination and love of our solar system and the whole known universe. This love of God's creation led me at one point in my life to join The Planetary Society as charter member when it was first formed by Bruce and Carl. These men's vision to bring advocacy and understanding to the world for planetary exploration has added greatly to my love of exploration, here on Earth and on towards the calling stars in the heavens. Great men like Bruce Murray do this ... more »

Knowing Bruce for 43 years

by Donna Shirley

September 5, 2013

I first met Bruce when I was a mission analyst and he was the imaging science lead on Mariner 10 to Venus and Mercury. We argued a lot because my job was to balance the computer and pointing time allocated to the 7 experiments and he, of course, wanted most of it. Later, when he became Director of JPL I was pretty nervous, but I discovered Bruce didn't hold grudges and we became great friends for the next 35 years. The most fun was acting together in a Caltech student production of Hello Dolly. I was in ... more »

A Great Man Has Left Us

by Kevin Rush

September 3, 2013

I just want to say that I am glad I have had the privilege to meet Bruce and join in many of his interests. I talked to him so many times over the years that I will never forget him and his great personality and drive. I never imagined as a kid being around people like Bruce, Carl, Lou and all the rest of the planetary staff and volunteers. Bruce has helped by creating a great legacy and as long as space exlporation and the Planetary Society is around he will be remembered. I wish his family well at this said ... more »


by Carol Kellogg

August 31, 2013

Dr. Murray Is not gone but is now with his friend Carl Sagen and I am sure they are discovering new stars and planets for us to find. No person is gone if people remember them and smile kindly when we look at the stars. Blessings, Rainbows and Hugs Carol ... more »

My tribute

by Giovanni Leone

August 31, 2013

Although I never met him, I've seen the results of his efforts in building the Planetary Society. If today we have a voice in favor of planetary exploration, we also owe it to him. Thanks Bruce. ... more »

Unifying of Mankind

by Bob Ware

August 30, 2013

I do not have a personal story unfortunately but as a Charter Member of TPS I have seen us grow under his humanity unifying style and grace. He will be missed very much. My prayers and condolences to his family and friends. ... more »


by Ken Ogiso

August 30, 2013

We are all deeply shocked to hear of the sudden passing of Dr.Bruce Murray, GREATEST PERSON FOR SPACE EXPLORATION,and we would like to offer our deepest sympathy. Please acceptt our deepest and most heartfelt condolences at this most challenging time. ... more »

An Amazing Man

by Susan Wilson

August 30, 2013

I have no personal story, but I do have great sorrow today to see the passing of such a unique and stellar human being -- who contributed so very much to so many of us --- His loss will leave large holes in many our lives. Where ever he now lands in our vast Universe he will be applauded! ... more »

Breakfast with Bruce Murray

by Floyd Mathews

August 30, 2013

By happenstance, I was seated next to Bruce, and recognized him from photos, and we struck up a conversation about the then new Planetary Society, current and future space projects etc. He was very knowledgeable and very amiable. My condolences to his family. He will be missed. ... more »

Congratulations to Bruce

by Joe Purnell

August 30, 2013

Only a handful of men are given the gifts and fewer the opportunities. Bruce Murray seems to have made the best of both and helped guide the space exploration goals of many through the highs and lows of his lifetime. Congratulations and thank you for your life of service and dedication to the sciences. You have inspired so many in generation(s) behind you. Carl has welcomed another ambassador. Gods speed. ... more »

Bruce – A ‘Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead’ kind of Leader

by Mike Helton

August 30, 2013

Our progress and accomplishments in the first generation of space exploration is owed to people like Dr. Murray. He was truly a great American pioneer for space exploration, a science achiever and a fantastic leader and person. One instance of how he operated that I recall is at an all day meeting he sponsored at JPL in 1979 to consider future space missions. There were about 25 people in the room and he opened up the all day meeting by stating that ‘today, we are going to have fun, and plan space missions without any thought or ... more »

Ad Astra Dr. Murray

by Robert B. Powers

August 30, 2013

In 1981, I heard of an essay contest sponsored by a new "Planetary Society" that wanted an essay on the subject "Why Explore the Planets?". I sent my essay in and ended up winning a trip to JPL in 1981 with my astronomy teacher, which was the first "Planet Fest" sponsored by the Planetary Society. There, I briefly met Bruce Murray, Carl Sagan, and Louis Friedman. All three of these men had a great influence on my life, which lead to a career in military aviation, two degrees in aerospace engineering, work at two NASA centers, amateur astronomy outreach events, ... more »

paying my respects

by Obie Hunt

August 30, 2013

I've been a member for a few years now but did not know Bruce Murray. After reading about him, I'm glad men like him were around to do their part to make the world a better place. RIP ... more »

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