Siliconcowboy's Blog

Neil Armstrong Was Paid $33 to Walk on the Moon

Neil Armstrong, the first man in the history of mankind to set foot on the Moon, passed away today of complications to heart bypass surgery at the age of 82.

I was 10 years old when he walked on the moon but I remember it like it was yesterday. I kept a lot of newspaper clippings from the time. This one was from a special section of the Boston Herald, July 17, 1969, called “The Flight of Apollo 11”. This story can be found on Page 49.

Moonwalk Pay: About $33

SPACE CENTER, HOUSTON (AP) — It has taken almost $24 billion to give Neil A. Armstrong a chance to walk on the moon for two hours, 40 minutes.

While he’s doing it, the nation’s first civilian astronaut will be earning only about $33 for his time.

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration has received $23.915 billion for space flight since the agency was created 10 years ago.

The money has gone for hardware, salaries, construction and training in a massive national effort to make the first man on the moon an American.

Armstrong, highest paid of the flying astronauts, gets $27,401 a year.

Based on a 40-hour week–although he usually works longer than that–the Apollo 11 commander will get $32.92 for the two hours and 40 minutes he spends walking the moon. If he had to pay for the space suit he’ll be wearing, it would cost him almost 12 years’ salary. The complete lunar surface outfit cost about $300,000. The two other Apollo 11 crewmen are Air Force officers. They get only what flying officers of their rank would receive in any other job.

Edwin E. Aldrin Jr., an Air Force colonel, receives $18,622.56 a year, including base pay, quarters and subsistence allowance, and flight pay.

Air Force Lt. Col. Michael Collins gets $17,147.76 a year, including fringe benefits.