Saturday, August 25, 2012

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(credit: Bill Ingalls/NASA via Getty Images)

(credit: Bill Ingalls/NASA via Getty Images)

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) - Bob Pepin is a retired University of Minnesota Physics professor. He also worked on Apollo Missions 13 through 17, but never met Neil Armstrong.

Armstrong died today at the age of 82. He was the first man to walk on the moon. Pepin said Armstrong’s reputation among other astronauts was impressive.

NewsRadio 830 WCCO’s Susie Jones Reports

“Even then, Neil’s fame, and his reputation among the astronaut core for being the very epitome of what they wanted in that program, was very clear in working with the later generation of astronauts,” Pepin said.

He also compared Armstrong to Charles Lindbergh, but said while they were famous for the accomplishments, Armstrong conducted himself much differently in the aftermath.

“I believe he served a term in the Senate, and then became an academic and he didn’t really let his fame interfere at all with what he wanted to do with his life,” he said.

Pepin also recalled Armstrong’s strength.

“He had astonishing reflexes,” he said.

Pepin said they trained on a little platform with big fans on it, which simulated a lunar lander.

“And it had the nasty habit of flipping over and Neil was one person who always ejected on time and never got hurt,” Pepin said

He said Armstrong was admired for being such an amazing physical specimen.

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