June 5th, 2013
04:17 PM ET

Study: Was Neil Armstrong misquoted?

By Josh Levs, CNN

When astronaut Neil Armstrong uttered what became one of the best-known - and most debated - quotes in all of history, he actually might have said it exactly the way he meant to, not the way people heard it.

After Armstrong lowered his left foot from the landing craft to the surface of the moon, people watching around the world heard him call it "one small step for man."

Both he and NASA initially insisted that he said "one small step for a man," and now a new and novel study on the much-analyzed quote backs him up.


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Filed under: In Space • the Moon
soundoff (5 Responses)
  1. physicslite

    An open letter:
    Dear Mankind & to who ever it may concern;

    Asteroid Mining & putting an asteroid in orbit around the Moon

    One Oooooops and Mankind goes the way of the dinosaurs!

    I know that this is a new frontier and the future of making space travel
    pay for itself and make a huge profit along with starting space hotels and tourist.
    And I am all for this and a great deal more space work.

    I also know that we [meaning our knowledge] are very good
    at putting many hundreds of satellites into low-earth orbit along with a
    two hundred + ton space station out there in orbit.

    But, all of these are artificial satellites in an artificial orbits based on their
    weight & speed / forward motion and the earth’s gravity as the string of what
    we know as centrifugal force. They are still artificial orbits!

    They are all artificial centrifugal orbits!

    Unlike even the two hundred + ton space station these asteroids do have
    their own [Type2 solid-state gravity]. This means that billions years back these
    asteroids went through a high energy event that converted its mass into a high-
    density state and left it there much as a mass that has been put into permanent
    magnet state.

    Anyone can see for themselves that even our two hundred+ ton Space Station
    does not have its own gravity! It can’t even attract a single human hair or a
    single drop of water mist.

    Not; all gravity is created equal!

    Really all that I am saying is that we / our science needs to back up and reassess
    our understanding of gravity.

    The asteroid belt is closer to Mars than Earth so at least practice on putting one in to an orbit around one of Mars’s Moons first.

    To better understand just what that I am trying to say!
    Please; go to
    Edward kerlsYouTube and see the four movies. It will only take about two minuets each.

    Thank you for your time.
    Edward E. Kerls

    August 2, 2013 at 4:30 pm |
  2. RMcL

    The misinterpetation sounds better. Captian Kirk never said, "Beam me up, Scotty.", either. But it is still a part of hip lingo. Regardless of what Armstrong said, the misinterpetation should stand on its own merit. Also, it is good to know that Armstrong was the ultimate professional in that he was an brilliant Astronaut and performed those words, exactly as he was supposed to. He was probably instructed not to refute the misinterpetation because, by that, it sounded better. The script writer probably wished he had written it.

    July 12, 2013 at 2:54 am |
  3. Glen

    After listening to the recording numerous times you can clearly hear him say "This fake astronaut suit is just too dang hot. I'm ready to get off this fake moon set and get some beers in the actor's lounge."

    June 14, 2013 at 8:56 am |
  4. Portland tony

    Jeez! He could have said anything. "We made it" or "To bad we've come this far and now we quit" who cares? This was a great technological accomplishment, yes! but who cares what he said? ..............And this is a "Science" story?

    June 6, 2013 at 11:13 am |
  5. Silvermoss240SX

    What is the difference between "for" and "for a" when used in this quote? I am failing to understand how "a" impacts this message so heavily.

    June 6, 2013 at 3:01 am |


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