I loved our recent family trip to the Milwaukee Public Museum, but I still can’t get a particular moment out of my head.
It occurred during this program in the Planetarium.
During the show there was a segment about man first landing on the moon. A narrator read these famous words spoken by Neil Armstrong:
“That’s one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind.”
Did you catch that?
That’s what a narrator in the Museum show says, but is that really what Armstrong said?
I hear “one small step for man.” I don’t hear the ‘a.’
Armstrong insists I’m mistaken along with probably millions of others.
A 2013 article by the LA Times contains this quote from the famous astronaut:
“I think that reasonable people will realize that I didn’t intentionally make an inane statement and that certainly the ‘a’ was intended, because that’s the only way the statement makes any sense.”
Fine, that was his intent. Is there better evidence? Try this.
Peter Shann Ford is a Sydney, Australia-based computer programmer who has worked at a company that specializes in helping physically handicapped people use their nerve impulses to communicate through computers. Ford claims Armstrong spoke, “One small step for a man … ” with the “a” lasting a total of 35 milliseconds, 10 times too quickly to be heard.”
So for decades history has been missing an asterisk?
NASA and the Public Museum agree with Armstrong.
I’m still scratching my head.