Music Break: Apollo 13 Main Title – RIP Neil Armstrong

I learned of Mr. Armstrong’s death this afternoon as I was on my computer break all day yesterday. He died from complications from a heart surgery, he was 82.

I felt a sudden loss of words reading that the first man on the moon has now passed on. Though I hadn’t been born on July 20, 1969, I had always been fascinated by that event and real-life heroes like Mr. Armstrong.

“That’s one small step for [a] man, one giant leap for mankind.”

Who could forget those words. Though Armstrong later admitted that he missed the ‘a’ in the sentence, I think we all know what he meant and those famous words certainly still gives me goosebumps!

Mr. Armstrong even made a cameo on Apollo 13, one of my favorite historical dramas directed by Ron Howard based on the ill-fated 13th Apollo mission bound for the moon. Unfortunately, I couldn’t embed the exact clip here but you can watch it on the metacafe site. It’s an awesome scene where all the families of the astronauts, played by Tom Hanks, Gary Sinise and Bill Paxton, gather in front of the TV to watch the moonwalk. It’s a great scene, and boy don’t I wish I were right there with them watching Walter Cronkite expresses his amazement at the pictures from the Moon and Armstrong stepping down from the ladder. In that very moment Armstrong spoke those words LIVE on TV, the camera zooms in on Hanks’ face and you just knew how significant that historical moment meant to him… and the rest of us. I love this movie, great performances all around, including in supporting roles from Kathleen Quinlan and Ed Harris.

So for this edition of music break, I thought it’d be appropriate to highlight the astounding music from that film, composed by James Horner. I had planned on showcasing this Oscar-nominated score at some point anyway, so here it is as part of my small tribute to Mr. Armstrong.

Per People.com, Armstrong’s family requested that people do this to honor Neil… “Honor his example of service, accomplishment and modesty, and the next time you walk outside on a clear night and see the moon smiling down at you, think of Neil Armstrong and give him a wink.”

We sure will, Mr. Armstrong. May you rest in peace.


What’s your fondest memory of the first walk on the Moon? Do you like Apollo 13 and its music?