Actually there is an 'a' (the article) missing prior to the word 'man' as Neil Armstrong said it. It was accidentally cut out or dropped out because of a technical problem during the connection between the earth and moon as he said it. If you think about it (as Mr. Armstrong has said), without that little 'a' in there, it doesn't make any sense.
: : Did I really say that?
: Are you really THE Neil Armstrong, or just "A" Neil Armstrong??
July 21, 1969
'That's one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind'
By Sanders LaMont
TODAY Aerospace Writer
MANNED SPACECRAFT CENTER, HOUSTON - Man landed and walked on the moon for the first time Sunday, July 20, 1969.
Astronauts Neil Armstrong stepped onto the surface at 10:56 p.m. As his left foot touched the surface, he said solemnly:
"That's one small step for man."
As his right foot touched the powdery surface, he addedOne giant leap for mankind."
He was joined on the surface by companionastronatu Buzz Aldrin slightly less than 20 minutes later.
"Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful. A magnificent desolation," Aldrin said.
The pair put on a spectacular live television show for millions for viewers on earth.
Even as Armstrong stepped onto the surface, he described it as "fine and powdery - I can kick it up with my toe. It is like fine charcoal."
Before he reached the bottom rung on the ladder from the sapceship he said the surface "looks like very, very fine grains of you get closer to it - almost like powder."
The two astronauts flawlessly completed their scientific tasks and clambered back into their space ship after two hours and 17 minutes on the lunar surface.
Both had returned to the moonship "Eagle" at 1:13 a.m., more than an hour ahead of the time they were originally to have started it.
At 1:09 a.m. as Armstrong started back up the ladder, Aldrin reported: "We got about 20 pounds of beautifully selected if not documented rock samples." (He referred to one of their last assignments, which was the assembling of a number of stones with careful documention of where they were found.)
About an hour after Armstrong stepped upon the moon surface, President Nixon telephoned them from the White House and, with emotion apparent in his voice, said: "For every American this has to be the proudest day in out lives...because of what you have done, the heavens have become part of man's world..."
It was while the two moonwalkers posed by the flag they had implanted on the moon that the President called.
They stood beside the Lem without moving as they listened.
"For one priceless moment in the history of man, all the people of the earth are one," Nixon said.
"It's a great honor and a privilege for us to be here representing the United States," Armstrong replied.
Shortly after that, the astronauts began loping, kangaroo-like on the surface, demonstrating the ease with which they could move in the one-sixth gravity.
"They rocks are rather slippery," Aldrin reported.
"We have to be careful leaning in the direction you want to go," Armstrong said.
Aldrin picked up a rock from the surface and saidNeil didn't I say we'd find a purple rock."
"Yep," Armstrong agreed.
Armstrong unveiled a plaque attached to the leg of the lander and read the inscriptionHere man from the planet earth first set foot upon the moon, July 1969 A.D. We came in peace for all mankind."
Aldrin went right to work setting up a solar wind experiment while Armstrong pulled out the flag. At first, the astronauts reported that the lunar surface appeared to be of volcanic material, but later Armstrong corrected himself, saying that it was peppered with "little impact craters...as it...(as if) b-b shot had hit the surface."
As they ran on the surface, the powdery moon soil could be seen, on television, puffing up around their feet.
Although Armstrong, with his spacesuit and pack would have weighed 300 pounds on earth, he weighed only 50 on the moon.
All of the scientific experiments were adjudged a success. The earth tremor recorder even picked up the astronauts footfalls an transmitted them back to earth. The reflector placed to catch a laser beam from the earth worked on a test (it is to measure movements of the earth, the moon and even the continents). The solar wind experiment, designed to soak up particles shot from the sun, was rolled up and will be carried back in the Eagle.
"It has a stark beauty all its own...like the high desert country in the United States," he said.
Armstrong stepped out of camera range to collect the first prized sample, but came floating back into range like a floating ghost in the light gravity of the moon.
Armstrong moved back to the bottom of the ladder to help Aldrin come out the hatch and down the ladder. He talked Aldrin down.
As Aldrin eased out he saidMaking sure not to lock it on my way out. That's our home for the next few hours and I want to make sure to take care of it."
They moved about the forbidding vacuum of the surface, where the sun appears the size of a dime, the sky is inky black and temperatures range from 250 degrees above Farenheit in the sun to 250 below in the shade.
While they performed their tasks, Mike Collins orbited 69 miles above the moon, awaiting the rejoining of his Command Module and the Eagle, tentatively set for 5:32 p.m. Monday