Neil Armstrong Lied About “One Small Step” Origin?

By on Jan 3, 2013 in Astronomy, Science Comments

Did Neil Armstrong lied about his famous words on the moon? Probably, if the latest documentary where Neil‘s brother, Dean, was interviewed is to be believed.

Neil Armstrong

Neil Armstrong
Image Credit: NASA

In a recent BBC documentary, Dean is quoted as saying that Neil showed him the famous words months before the Apollo 11 flight, during a family visit when they were playing Risk, a board game. That is contrary to what Neil Armstrong had said, that he had thought of the line when he was already on the moon.

According to Dean, Neil slipped him a piece of paper and told him to read it.

“On that piece of paper there was, ‘That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.’ He says, ‘What do you think about that?’ I said, ‘Fabulous.’ He said, ‘I thought you might like that, but I wanted you to read it,'” Dean is quoted as saying in the documentary.

“It was, ‘That is one small step for a man,'” Dean corrected himself.

As to why Neil Armstrong would lie about his famous words, Christopher Riley, a professor of science and media at Lincoln University who directed the documentary has this to say as quoted by the IBTimes:

“I think the reason he always claimed he’d thought it up after landing was that he was bombarded by suggestions in the run up to the mission, and found them a distraction to the business of landing on the Moon. It was probably easier to just say that he’d thought it up after landing, thus dodging the issue of where the words came from, and who maybe suggested them, or influenced him.”

Unfortunately, Neil Armstrong is no longer here to clear things up. All we can do is speculate.



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