That's one small step for a man, a giant leap for mankind
What's the meaning of the phrase 'That's one small step for a man, a giant leap for mankind'?
These were Neil Armstrong's words on first setting foot on the moon in 1969. The line is a strong contender as the most famous ever to have been uttered.
What's the origin of the phrase 'That's one small step for a man, a giant leap for mankind'?
Armstrong's words are sometimes given as, "That's one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind." Clearly the event was of huge significance and the choice of words was quite deliberate. Armstrong maintained for some time later that he said "for a man" rather than "for man". That line was what he, with the help of his wife, had prepared in advance. The rather fuzzy tapes of the event aren't clear enough to be sure, although the 'a' does appear to be missing.
Was it 'Man' or 'a man'?
In more recent years, after listening again to the recording, Armstrong has acknowledged that he may have fluffed his line. More recently still, analysis of the tape indicates that the 'a' may have be present on the recording but is too indistinct to hear.
Other 'One' phrases: