Q:

Was Neil Armstrong misquoted?

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Quick Answer

Whether Neil Armstrong's famous saying "one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind" is a misquote or not seems to be a matter of some debate. NASA authorities at the time claimed he said "one small step for a man" and Armstrong himself has occupied both sides of the debate at different times.

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Was Neil Armstrong misquoted?
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Full Answer

Shortly after the 1969 moon landing, Armstrong was quoted as saying that some sort of transmission issue was responsible for the tiny word "a" getting left out of his famous moonbound statement, and this point of view also seems to have represented the official NASA party line.

In the 1980s, the authors of the book "Chariots of Fire" claim to have gotten Armstrong to admit that he actually did flub his line, leaving out the "a" before "a man," which would represent a reversal of his previous position that his full statement included the phrase "a man." Since that time, amateur and professional researchers alike have used improving technology to analyze the audio, but no real consensus has been reached. Much ink has been spilled on this issue over the years, and much effort has been devoted to finding out exactly what Armstrong said. With Armstrong himself potentially unsure, the truth of this issue may never come out.

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