Armstrong Flubbed Moon Line, Made It Stellar
Astro put tiny poetic spin on script
By Mary Papenfuss,  Newser User
Posted Jun 4, 2009 2:15 AM CDT
Giant leap for mankind.   (AP Photo/European Space Agency)
camera-icon View 2 more images

(Newser) – Stressed out Neil Armstrong flubbed his line as he became the first human to step on the moon—and turned it into out-of-this-world poetry, reports the BBC. The astronaut was supposed to say: "One small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind," as he walked onto the moon in 1969. But he dropped the "a" in the pre-scripted phrase penned by NASA.

Armstrong always insisted he had used the "a," but that it was lost somewhere between his soft Ohio accent and transmission. But a new linguistic analysis has determined that he put his own stellar spin on the phrase that rocked the world. "For me that phrase is of great significance," said one of the linguists. "Those words sum up much of the optimism of the later part of the 20th century."