WAPAKONETA, Ohio -- The mother of Apollo 11 astronaut Neil Armstrong said Monday she was concerned her son would "sink in too deeply" when he set foot on the moon.
"I was worried that the moon might be too soft and that he would sink in too deeply," Mrs. Viola Armstrong said. "But I'm so thankful they got there safely."
Mrs. Armstrong said she slept for about only "two hours" early today but felt refreshed.
"I think they are going to be all right now," said Mrs. Armstrong "I slept for about two hours, but that's all. I hope they're still sleeping. I'm worried they may be cramped and uncomfortable in there."
Mrs. Armstrong said she could tell by her son's voice that he was "pleased, tickled and thrilled" when he uttered man's first words on the lunar surface Sunday night.
She said Neil's words as he stapped on the moon, "One small step for man, one giant leap for mankind," came as a surprise to her.
"Same Old Neil"
Neil's father, Stephen, said, however, "It was the same old Neil."
Mrs. Armstrong said when her son stepped onto the moon a roomful of friends and relatives, watching the historic space venture on television at the Armstrong home in this small western Ohio community, "became absolutely quiet."
When the moon cameras snapped on, Mrs. Armstrong leaned forward in her chair and said, "Oh, there he is."
When Armstrong and fellow astronaut Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin bounced on the lunar surface Mrs. Armstrong said, "He looks like he's having fun."
"I hope this increases man's concept of God," Mr. Armstrong said. "I hope this brings us closer together and does much for man and the world."
Nice of Nixon
The elder Armstrong said it was "real nice" of President Nixon to talk with the astronauts on the moon.
He said the Russian Luna 15 spacecraft circling the moon was "uncalled for and unfair." He did not elaborate. Mrs. Armstrong wished the Russians well in their space venture.
The Armstrongs, still in their church clothes, stepped out of their house briefly during the moonwalk ' to talk with newsmen. They held their hands over their heads with their fingers crossed.
They said they thanked God for the safe landing of the Eagle spacecraft on the moon, but added they still prayed for Neil's safe return.