The Edmondson Blog

First Moon Walk

Once Armstrong and Aldrin were ready to go outside, Eagle was depressurized, the hatch opened and Armstrong made his way down the ladder first. Placing his left foot on the surface at 2:56 UTC 21 July 1969, he spoke the following words:

That's one small step for [a] man, one giant leap for mankind.

It had long been assumed that Armstrong mistakenly had omitted the word "a" from his famous remark ("one small step for a man"), rendering the phrase contradictory, as man in such use is synonymous with mankind. Armstrong, who admits that he often forgot syllables when speaking, is quoted as saying that he "would hope that history would grant me leeway for dropping the syllable and understand that it was certainly intended, even if it wasn't said—although it might actually have been."

It has since been claimed that acoustic analysis of the recording reveals the presence of the missing "a". A digital audio analysis conducted by Peter Shann Ford, an Australia-based computer programmer, claims that Armstrong did, in fact, say "a man", but the "a" was inaudible due to the limitations of communications technology of the time.

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