Most people don't realize how difficult the mission was. Armstrong then called on back-up pilot Pete Conrad to solve the problem which he did to continue the mission without stopping the countdown clock. It was the longest X-15 flight in both time and distance from the ground track.
He was also an aerospace engineer naval aviator test pilot and university professor. Navy and served in the Korean War. He made his first space flight as command pilot of Gemini 8 in 1966 becoming NASA's first civilian astronaut to fly in space.