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  • Martin Dunn

    Portrait of Armstrong in 1959, 10 years prior to the journey that would immortalise him. Photograph:

  • Mitch Carpenter

    Portrait of Neil Armstrong in 1959, ten years prior to the Apollo 11 mission in which he became the first human to set foot on the moon. (Photo by NASA/Newsmakers)

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"The moon would be a really neat place to visit" thought Neil Armstrong (Age 6)

Neil Armstrong with his wife Jan and son Mark, then 10, in their home in Houston, Texas a few months before the mission began. Photograph: Ralph Morse/Time & Life Pictures/Getty Image

Buzz Aldrin, Neil Armstrong, and Michael Collins (left to right) are selected to crew Apollo 11, in February 1969. The dapper astronauts of Apollo 11.

Neil Armstrong, by Ralph Morse, March 1969

Father and son observe Apollo 11 launch; photograph by Ralph Crane

Not originally published in LIFE. Neil Armstrong and his customary late dinner over the Wall Street Journal, March 1969. “Neil worked late. The first thing he did when he got home — the family had always eaten already — he sat down at the table and looked up the stock market numbers.”

Photograph of astronaut Neil Armstrong as a child in his band uniform, ca. 1940. [»]

❤ Neil Armstrong, The Only One Among Billions Who Would Step on God's Path Leading to the Moon !!

Armstrong speaks to a technician during a suiting at the Kennedy Space Centre shortly before the moon mission. Photograph: Central Press/Getty Images

The official NASA portrait of Neil Armstrong, commander of the Apollo 11 mission. Photograph: Everett Collection/Rex Feature