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Local man recalls helping Armstrong and Aldrin before moon landing

Posted: 9:13 PM, Jul 18, 2019
Updated: 2019-07-18 21:13:03-04
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PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. — Before they went to outer space Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin dived to inner space here on the Port of Palm Beach.

“For me, for example, I was just very, very glad, very proud to be apart of let me say a new beginning,” Roger Cook said.

The year was 1969 and Cook a Navy Seal, was spending time in Riviera Beach working as the Chief Pilot of the world’s first diver lockout submersible called “Deep Diver.”

“Well NASA called, actually called my boss at Ocean Systems and said could we bring a couple of astronauts down to take a dive in the submersible because they are getting ready to blast off to the moon in a couple of days and they’d like to check the life support system in a manned submersible,” he recalled.

Cook has a photo of that day in it you see him loading into the submersible with Neil Armstrong right by his side.

“They were concerned about the life support system they had and I showed them the life support system we had inside that deep diver manned submersible,” he said. “I was excited to get them to come down and talk about inner space and talk about outer space.”

Cook says a couple of days later he watched as they took off for the moon. For him, the feeling was out of this world.

“I’ll always remember Neil Armstrong walking out of the spacecraft saying one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind,” he said.