The Florida space port is being transformed following the end of the 30-year-old space shuttle program last year. NASA intends to open the base to commercial, research and military partners.
Armstrong had agreed to speak at the Kennedy Space Center’s 50th anniversary gala next month, Cabana said.
“When I got hold of him he said, ‘You know, I really don’t want to be the guest of honor. I just want to be another out-of-town attendee coming to celebrate,’” Cabana said.
“I said, ‘Well Neil, will you still be willing to talk?’ And he said, ‘Well, of course. Can you give me a hint on what you’d like me to talk about?’ -- as if we wouldn’t hang on every word that he had to say no matter what it was,” Cabana added.
“That’s the kind of guy Neil was,” he said.
NASA administrator Charles Bolden, also a former astronaut, said the United States has an obligation to build on Armstrong’s legacy.
“Neil Armstrong’s first step on the moon paved the way for others to be the ‘first’ to step foot on another planet,” Bolden said in a statement on Friday.
“A grateful nation offers praise and salutes a humble servant who answered the call and dared to dream,” he said.