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Across America, tributes to Neil Armstrong (+video)

As a blue moon rose Friday, people across the country celebrated the life of Neil Armstrong, who in 1969 became the first human to set foot on the moon.

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The Kennedy Space Center in Florida also met around its moon rocket exhibit at the Apollo/Saturn V Center, where center director Robert Cabana led the remembrance.

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President Barack Obama ordered flags be flown at half mast on the day Armstrong is interred, although when that will occur and where the late moonwalker will be laid to rest is not yet public.

Wink at the (blue) moon

Earlier this week, the Armstrong Air and Space Museum in the astronaut's hometown of Wapakoneta, Ohio held a public tribute, where attendees gathered to "wink at the moon," a gesture first suggested by Armstrong's family.

"For those who may ask what they can do to honor Neil, we have a simple request. Honor his example of service, accomplishment and modesty, and the next time you walk outside on a clear night and see the moon smiling down at you, think of Neil Armstrong and give him a wink," the family said in a statement.

In a coincidental bit of cosmic alignment, Friday is a "blue moon," or the second full moon of the month.

More tangible tributes are underway on television and in print.

The Discovery Channel is set to air "One Giant Leap: A Neil Armstrong Tribute," a new one-hour documentary, on Saturday at 8 p.m. EDT. The program includes footage from Armstrong's final public appearance and interviews with Apollo 11 crewmates Aldrin and Collins.

And Easton Press, which specializes in limited edition, leather-bound books, has partnered with LIFE magazine to publish a special 96 page photo retrospective. The book, "Neil Armstrong, 1930-2012," is set for release in October.

Armstrong's family has established the "Neil Armstrong New Frontiers Initiative," a memorial fund benefiting the Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center. They have asked that in lieu of flowers, memorials be made to the Initiative, or to two scholarship funds setup in Armstrong's name by the Telluride Foundation and by the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA).

For more information about the Neil Armstrong scholarship and memorial funds, see neilarmstronginfo.com.

This story was updated at 4:40 p.m. ET.

Follow collectSPACE on Facebook and Twitter @collectSPACEand editor Robert Pearlman @robertpearlman. Copyright 2012 collectSPACE.com. All rights reserved.

Copyright 2012 SPACE.com, a TechMediaNetwork company. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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