Neil Armstrong, the first man to walk on the moon, has passed away at 82, according to

The news comes just weeks after his open-heart surgery was declared a success and he was deemed to be recovering nicely,  NPR reported.

Armstrong, a Korean war veteran and test pilot for the Navy, took part in the Gemini program and was later assigned to the Apollo program, where he would accomplish what many thought impossible. During the Apollo 11 mission, Armstrong, alongside Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins, not only landed successfully on the surface of the moon but also embodied America's technological dominance over its rival in the 1960s space race, the former Soviet Union.

Armstrong, upon setting foot on the surface of the moon, remarked to mission control "That's one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind."