WASHINGTON (AP) - President Barack Obama hailed the late astronaut Neil Armstrong as one of the greatest of American heroes, "not just of his time, but of all time."
The first man to walk on the moon, Armstrong died Saturday at the age of 82.
In a statement issued by the White House, Obama said Armstrong and the rest of the crew carried with them the aspirations of an entire nation when the Apollo 11 mission traveled to the moon in 1969.
"They set out to show the world that the American spirit can see beyond what seems unimaginable _ that with enough drive and ingenuity, anything is possible. And when Neil stepped foot on the surface of the moon for the first time, he delivered a moment of human achievement that will never be forgotten," Obama said.
The president said Armstrong's "spirit of discovery" lives on today in all men and women who have devoted their lives to exploring the unknown.
"That legacy will endure," Obama said, "sparked by a man who taught us the enormous power of one small step."
(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)
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