In an interview for a BBC documentary about the moon landing, Dean Armstrong, the younger brother of astronaut Neil Armstrong, claims his brother’s famous “one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind” was not as spontaneous as has been believed, according to the Daily Mail.
Dean tells the BBC in the interview that his brother came up with the quote months prior to the launch, as Neil ran the quote by Dean over a game of Risk. Dean says he told Neil the quote was “fabulous” and Neil responded, “I
thought you might like that, but I wanted you to read it.”
It was written in famous moon landing biography “A Man on the Moon” by
Andrew Chaikin that Armstrong did not know what he was going to say
until Apollo 11 touched down on the lunar surface.
But perhaps Armstrong didn’t lie so much as let people think he was going to spontaneous. BBC documentary director Christopher Riley speculates that Armstrong let people believe he wasn’t going to pre-choose a quotation or statement so as to avoid any interference before the launch.
Dean also says that Neil’s original quote had the controversial “a” in it — as in, “one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind,” instead of the “one small step for man,” which is often how the quote is cited. Neil Armstrong has always insisted he said “a man,” but that the viewers and listeners could not hear the “a” because of static.