NASA Quoted Him Wrong

NASA Quoted Him Wrong

This is a discussion on NASA Quoted Him Wrong within the Off Topic & Humor Discussion forums, part of the The Back Porch category; "One small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind." Software Reveals Armstrong's Moon Quote HOUSTON (Sept. 30) - That's one small word for ...

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Thread: NASA Quoted Him Wrong

  1. #1
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    Post NASA Quoted Him Wrong

    "One small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind."

    Software Reveals Armstrong's Moon Quote

    HOUSTON (Sept. 30) - That's one small word for astronaut Neil Armstrong, one giant revision for grammar sticklers everywhere.

    An Australian computer programmer says he found the missing "a" from Armstrong's famous first words from the moon in 1969, when the world heard the phrase, "That's one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind."
    The story was reported in Saturday's editions of the Houston Chronicle.

    Some historians and critics have dogged Armstrong for not saying the more dramatic and grammatically correct, "One small step for a man ..." in the version he transmitted to NASA's Mission Control. Without the missing "a," Armstrong essentially said, "One small step for mankind, one giant leap for mankind."


    The famous astronaut has maintained he intended to say it properly and believes he did. Thanks to some high-tech sound-editing software, computer programmer Peter Shann Ford might have proved Armstrong right.

    Ford said he downloaded the audio recording of Armstrong's words from a NASA Web site and analyzed the statement with software that allows disabled people to communicate through computers using their nerve impulses.

    In a graphical representation of the famous phrase, Ford said he found evidence that the missing "a" was spoken and transmitted to NASA.

    "I have reviewed the data and Peter Ford's analysis of it, and I find the technology interesting and useful," Armstrong said in a statement. "I also find his conclusion persuasive. Persuasive is the appropriate word."


    09/30/06 18:12 EDT
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    Sounds Better Too...

    Quote Originally Posted by QKShooter View Post
    "One small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind."
    ...09/30/06 18:12 EDT
    I enjoy words and their use...daily!

    It's a small correction by one person, but puts things into the proper prospective for all men!

    ret
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    Hey retsupt99 - that little "a" is important because without it I would be a
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    VIP Member Array Bud White's Avatar
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    and how much money was wasted doing thins.. and come on did we even go to the moon???


    I bet it was all filmed in doors at area 51

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    VIP Member Array ccw9mm's Avatar
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    For all of those that love these little grammarian gymnastics drills, check out the book: "Eats, Shoots and Leaves." It's enough to make any pedant blush. (Me included.)

    Now, about that missing "a". I supposed in the bright glow of the earth and the "heat" of the moment, Armstrong can be forgiven a minor transgression. He (all of NASA at the time) done good, no matter how you slice it.

    As for the grainy, awful pictures ... 1970's Hollywood, perhaps? The proverbial sand-laden, Area 51 tail wagging the dog? Who's to say, unless one had independent, triangulated sensors at the time. I'd be willing to bet that an army of amateurs could now verify that such a thing is done, today. That would put to rest any wrangling over possibilities it didn't in the Apollo shots.
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    VIP Member Array sgtD's Avatar
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    I am suprised that this dicussion is still cirulating. I remember, way back when in public school, that he was quoted as saying it with the a, but we listened to the tape of the transmission and there was some static just at the moment that he said a man, and that was pointed out as the reason for the initial misunderstanding.

    Hence, I thought this was already settled. Man, I must really be out of the loop. Thanks for bringing me back in.
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  7. #7
    Senior Member Array madmike's Avatar
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    As I heard it, the "lost word" was due to the fact that the suit's microphone was a VOX, or "voice activated." This was supposed to switch "on" when he spoke, and not be activated by other noises in the suit.

    I've had some cordless and cell phones that worked that way. From time to time, all or part of the first word gets lost. He did use a short, "dramatic pause" in that sentence, and this would easily explain the missing "a."

    mm
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