Neil Armstrong - a life in pictures

By Ian Jones, MSN news editor Rex Features
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Images from the career of the most famous astronaut in history

"I am, and ever will be, a nerdy engineer," Neil Armstrong once said, trying to downplay any suggestion that he was some sort of modern icon or superman. After making history in 1969 as the first person to walk on the moon, he spent much of the rest of his career out of the limelight and leading a quiet, modest life. But his achievements were never, and will never, be forgotten. On hearing the news of Armstrong's death, President Obama said: "He was a hero not just of his time, but of all time." Click through for snapshots from the life of one of history's most acclaimed yet unassuming pioneers.

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Trainee astronaut

A picture from 17 September 1962, when Neil Armstrong, along with eight other astronauts, was first introduced to the press as the latest recruits to Nasa's space programme.

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Gemini 8

Armstrong gets kitted up for the Gemini 8 flight in 1966, during which he oversaw the first ever docking in space, and a successful emergency splashdown.

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The newsflash from the Associated Press reporting the moon landing on 20 July 1969.

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One small step for a man

A footprint left by Neil Armstrong on the surface of the moon on 20 July 1969. The Apollo 11 astronauts - Armstrong, Michael Collins and Edwin E. Aldrin, Jr - were launched to the moon by a Saturn V rocket on 16 July in Houston, Texas.

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One giant leap for mankind

This picture, taken from a television screen, shows Armstrong trudging across the surface of the moon on 20 July 1969. Fellow astronaut Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin is seen closer to the craft.

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Walking on the moon

Neil Armstrong, the US flag, the lunar module and television camera are all reflected in the face mask of Buzz Aldrin, when his picture was taken by Armstrong as they walked across the surface of the moon.

Rex Features
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Caught on camera

This is a photograph of Neil Armstrong taken by Buzz Aldrin on their way back from the moon.

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After making splashdown on 24 July 1969, Armstrong and his fellow astronauts were held in quarantine to check for any after-effects. While kept in isolation, they were visited by President Richard Nixon.

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The Apollo 11 crew are given a tickertape parade through New York on 13 August 1969. From the left: Buzz Aldrin, Michael Collins and Neil Armstrong. United Nations Secretary General U Thant is seated in the car, to right of Collins. New York Mayor John Lindsey has his head turned, seated below Aldrin and Collins.

AP Photo
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One year on

On 20 July 1970, Michael Collins, Buzz Aldrin and Neil Armstrong paid a visit to the command module that took them to the moon and back.

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President Jimmy Carter, right, congratulates former astronaut and first man on the moon Neil Armstrong after presenting him with a medal at Cape Canaveral on 1 October 1978. Other astronauts in attendance included, from left John Glenn, Charles Conrad Jr. and Frank Borman.

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Space Exploration Day

Armstrong was among those attending an event on 21 July 1984, when President Ronald Reagan signed a proclamation marking 20 July as Space Exploration Day.

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A presidential audience

Michael Collins, left, and Neil Armstrong stand with President Barack Obama in the White House on 20 July 2009 to mark the 40th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing.

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A farewell audience

On 12 May 2012, Neil Armstrong appeared before the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation to give evidence on Nasa's proposed budget and the future of the manned space flight programme. It was one of his last public appearances.