Q: How was Apollo 11 astronaut Neil Armstrong chosen to be the first man to step on the moon?
—David Matheny, Rome
A: Armstrong was the commander of Apollo 11, which put him in line to be the first man to walk on the moon on July 20, 1969, The New York Times reported in his obituary. NBC News space analyst James Oberg wrote: “Armstrong wound up as commander of Apollo 11 through his methodical progression of backup and primary crew assignments throughout the Gemini and early Apollo program. Nobody knew when he entered that flow how many Apollo missions would be needed before the actual first landing attempt.” Armstrong, who died from complications resulting from cardiovascular procedures at the age of 82 on Aug. 25, was the backup commander on Apollo 8, which was the first flight to circumnavigate the moon in December 1968. Armstrong and Col. Edwin E. “Buzz” Aldrin Jr. were the first of 12 American astronauts to walk on the moon between Apollo 11 and the Apollo 17 mission in 1972, the Times reported.
Q: Is there any particular reason why the post office closed at the airport?
—John R. Siegel, Atlanta
A: The post office at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport closed on Jan. 31, 2011 because it didn’t have enough customers. “It was too costly to operate given the amount of traffic it got,” a U.S. Postal Service spokesman told the AJC.
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