Sunday, October 01, 2006

Neil Armstrong vindicated

Long ago we walked the moon. Yes, I know it seems unbelievable.

Anyway, Neil Armstrong, now 76 yo, has long been thought to have "flubbed" his historic catchphrase "One small step for (a) man, one giant leap for mankind"...
High-tech analysis may rewrite space history:

... In the 2005 book First Man: The Life of Neil A. Armstrong, Armstrong told Hansen that others have pointed out that he can often be heard dropping the vowels from his speech in his radio transmissions.

'It doesn't sound like there was time for the word to be there,' Armstrong said in the book. 'On the other hand, I didn't intentionally make an inane statement, and . . . certainly the 'a' was intended, because that's the only way the statement makes any sense.

'So I 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.'"
Emphases mine. New analysis suggests Armstrong did indeed include the vowel, but a communications glitch dropped it. Apparently whatever NASA was doing to conserve bandwidth tended to chop Armstrong's vowels ...

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