Neil Armstrong may be dead, but his historic first step on the moon will be lodged in the worlds collective memory for generations to come.

Armstrong's role in NASA was undoubtedly prominent and yet he rarely sought out the limelight for his achievements. In 2010, however, he did (along with Commanders James Lovell and Eugene Cernan) step into the realm of politics by writing an open letter to President Obama titled "Obama's Devastating Nasa Cuts" which details the flaws Armstrong saw in the President's NASA strategy.

The letter targets the failure of the U.S. to develop low-orbit rockets for space exploration and the waste of over 10billion dollars with the collapse of the Constellation project. Here's a sample:

While the president's plan envisages humans traveling away from Earth and perhaps toward Mars at some time in the future, the lack of developed rockets and spacecraft will assure that ability will not be available for many years.

Armstrong's belief in a strong NASA program sending humans into space, even to the distant reaches of Mars, will be decided by a different generation of politicians. Hopefully they listen to the voices of the past.