Neil Armstrong Lied About 'One Small Step' Line

Dan Evon

Neil Armstrong lied about the famous line he said when stepping onto the surface of the moon.

On July 20, 1969, Armstrong placed his boot onto the rocky surface of the moon and said: "That's one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind."

The Business Insider reports that Armstrong always said that the line was actually garbled when it was transmitted back to earth and that he actually said "a" before the word "man." The astronaut also says that he thought of the line a few hours before landing on the surface of the moon. According to Armstong, he said "That's one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind."

According to Armstrong's brother Neil, the astronaut told the truth about the missing "a," but Armstrong lied about when he thought up the line. According to Dean, Neil thought up the line months before Apollo 11 headed off on its historic flight.

Dean said that his brother told him about the line while they were playing a game of Risk before the shuttle launch. Dean insists that the "a" was on the sheet of paper that his brother handed to him.

Dean said:

"Before he went to the Cape, he invited me down to spend a little time with him. He said 'why don't you and I, once the boys go to bed, why don't we play a game of Risk. I said I'd enjoy that. We started playing Risk and then he slipped me a piece of paper and said 'read that'. I did. 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'. It was 'that is one small step for A man."

According to Dr Christopher Riley, a lecturer in science and media at Lincoln University, Neil probably said that he thought of the line a few hours before landing so that he wouldn't have to field question about the inspiration behind the quote before the flight.

Riley said:

"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."