When the United States sent Neil Armstrong to the moon it was a momentous occasion that arguably shifted the attitude of the cold war in favor of the United States. Now the famed astronaut has revealed that the mission actually had only a 50-50 chance of succeeding.
Armstrong sat down for an interview with the Certified Practicing Accountants of Australia where he revealed:
“I thought we had a 90% chance of getting back safely to Earth on that flight but only a 50-50 chance of making a landing on that first attempt. There were so many unknowns …”
One of those “unknowns” occurred when Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin were heading towards the moon’s surface in the Eagle lander when the on-board computer attempted to steer them towards a steep, rocky area. According to Armstrong:
“I took over manually and flew it like a helicopter out to the west direction, got into a smoother area without so many rocks and found a level area and was able to get it down there safely before we ran out of fuel.” while he added that there was “something like 20 seconds of fuel left.”
When asked about the various conspiracy theorists who claim the moon landing wasn’t real Armstrong said:
“People love conspiracy theories … but they were never a concern to me—because I know that one day somebody’s going to fly back up there and pick up that camera I left there.”
So why did Neil Armstrong open up to a group of accountants? The best guest so far is that his father was an auditor.