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Armstrong colleague remembers life of famed astronaut

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The news of Neil Armstrong’s death hit hard across the nation, but one man, Hans Mark, has a unique perspective on Armstrong’s life as a space pioneer.

"I was in the control room in Houston when we saw them land," Mark said. "All, of course, we saw was a fuzzy flickering image on the television. My first reaction was that life will never be the same."

That moment will forever be a milestone of human ambition and achievement.

At the Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum, Armstrong’s first words from the surface of the moon are on permanent display.

The event had Austinites looking to the heavens in a whole new way.

"The moon landing was a spur to getting the group going,” Joyce Lynch with the Austin Astronomical Society said. “There was just a lot of interest in what was going on in the sky and this group of people got together and formed the Austin Astronomical Society."

Lynch admired Armstrong from afar, but Hans Mark says Armstrong didn't enjoy the attention that he received.

To his chagrin, Mark told him the moon landing was the only thing history would remember about 1969.

"The other problem you've got is the only name they are going to remember is yours. And he kind of cringed and said, 'I don't really believe that.' But I think it's true," Mark said.

At 83, Mark is now teaching the next generation explorers at the University of Texas.
On Saturday he heard the news that his old colleague had passed away.

"I cried, what can you do," Mark said.

Like Armstrong, Mark spent time in the Navy, so for his friend he shared the farewell of the sailor.

"May you have fair winds, following seas and may God hold you in the palm of his hand,” Mark said. “That's how I would like to remember him."

Hear YNN's interview with local astronaut and space enthusiast Richard Garriott about the passing of Neil Armstrong.

TWC News: Armstrong colleague remembers life of famed astronaut
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Check below for extended interviews with Hans Mark, Armstrong’s colleague.

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Hans Mark remembers working on the committee investigating the Apollo 13 accident.

TWC News: Armstrong colleague remembers life of famed astronaut
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Hans Mark tells Armstrong will the only thing people remember about 1969.

TWC News: Armstrong colleague remembers life of famed astronaut
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Hans Mark Remembers the moon landing.

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