Talk:Neil Armstrong

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This is the talk page for discussing improvements to the Neil Armstrong page.

First words of Armstrong on stepping onto lunar surface[edit]

I don't think it is debated - it is pretty well accepted that NA did not say 'a' - NASA initially tried to claim that he did, and that static obscured it, but it is appratent from the initial recording that there is no time for him to have said it. I'd like to make this clear on the page. 03:52, 18 Dec 2003 (UTC)

I do not really know much of the official NASA actions on the matter. I do know that Armstrong in interviews has declared he said it. Concievably there was a slip of the tongue… an inaudible aspiration of "a" before man. I personally think he flubbed it whatever the case, but it truly is an extremely minor matter compared to the accomplishment represented. Kalki 21:32, 18 Dec 2003 (UTC)

The first comment above is correct - there is quite clearly a smooth glide and no gap betwen "for" and "man" -- no room at all for an "a" -- and Armstrong's abrupt change of tone of voice immediately afterwards also hints that he was aware of his blunder. All this having been said, the fact that Armstrong blew his line delights me, because it reveals the presence of a human being, not just a NASA-programmed robot. The line is spectacularly pretentious and a glaringly obvious product of a committee (or at least the selectee of a committee), and was delivered as if intoned by a bored priest chanting an over-familiar liturgy; much more appropriate to the occasion might have been something improvised along the line of, "Yippeee! We made it!"

Which is why "Houston, Tranquility Base here. The Eagle has landed." is so much better 09:57, 24 July 2005 (UTC)

On NASA's web site are several video editings of the live television images of Armstrong's first step. Armstrong's feet and the lunar surface are actually off-camera - the step onto the surface is actually not visible - so several edits of the video rearrange sound and image, such that Armstrong appears to utter the famous words right after he jumps off the ladder, as if onto the lunar surace -- when in actual fact he jumped from the ladder to the Lunar Module's footpad, stood there for some time, and then stepped onto the moon's surface and uttered the words. NASA appears to have tried to create a more visually dramatic moment by rearranging history a bit; further suggesting that NASA's comments on Armstrong's line are not to be trusted.

I know that the controversy will probably never be settled to everyone's satisfaction… and that it does sound like he says "step for man"; but without positing the idea that there were any gaps in tansmission (which I doubt could be the case) there are people (including myself) who often fail to fully aspirate and enunciate words: and I can see where he could have said "for a man" in a way in which the "for a" were so blended together with the "a" not fully expressed, that mentally he thought he said it clearly enough, while vocally he didn't. It remains a historic flub, whatever the case, but amidst a far more historic accomplishment. ~ Kalki 01:16, 27 Jun 2004 (UTC)

Does it matter whether he pronounced the "a"? What if he had a stammer and said "one g-g-giant leap" — would we reproduce the stammer when quoting him? What if he swallowed the terminal t (a problem some people have with certain orthodontic appliances) so that it sounded like "one gian leap" — would we omit or bracket the t when quoting him? It's clear what words he was thinking and intended to say. Quotes don't generally reproduce little flubs in pronunciation. Why should this be an exception? Capedia 10:16, 23 October 2010 (UTC)

Further quotes from Neil Armstrong[edit]

"I think we are going to the Moon because it is in the nature of the human being to face challenges. It's by the nature of his deep inner soul. We're required to do these things just as salmon swim upstream" Quoted by James R. Hansen in First Man: The Life of Neil A. Armstrong, page 399.

—This unsigned comment is by (talkcontribs) .

information regarding fuel in lunar module at completion of its descent[edit]

I had originally included information on assertions that as little as 11 seconds of fuel might have remained in the Lunar Module on completion of its descent, but did not insist on retaining that when other information became available. I did restore information in the comments to provide a greater sense of the context of Armstrong's comment, in relation to the tensions and dangers of which he and Mission Control were well aware:

I believe that such comments below the quote should be restored, but am placing them here for further discussion, because there have been other opinions expressed, and I don't have either the time or desire to engage in any intense edit disputes at this time. ~ Kalki (talk · contributions) 18:52, 14 February 2011 (UTC)

Official reports which have been cited now indicate he may have had 47 seconds of fuel left, but regardless of this, he was fast approaching a point where it would have been his instructions to abort the landing mission — something he himself had privately estimated beforehand had perhaps only a 50-50 chance of success — despite a confidence he had that the astronaut crew had a 90% chance of safely returning to Earth. ~ Kalki (talk · contributions) 19:06, 14 February 2011 (UTC)

"One small step" merger entirely appropriate[edit]

I fully agree with Ningauble (talk · contributions) that the page One small step, recently created by Tom Morris (talk · contributions) should be merged here. There are longstanding policies or guidelines in effect against quotes having their own pages, even though this one has innovated by branching into quotes about the quote. ~ Kalki (talk · contributions) 21:13, 19 May 2011 (UTC) + tweaks

Okay, I'm new here, so I won't be a dick about it if I've broken policy. It just seemed like one of those quotes where it has become such a widely-used trope that it might be worth breaking convention for. But, again, I'm the newbie here, so if I've broken policy, feel free to redirect or whatever. Tom Morris 22:11, 19 May 2011 (UTC)
Your attempts to contribute are quite welcome, and have brought to light some aspects of things which were not apparent before. The habits or practices which have become custom or policy here or anywhere should be reviewed when there are innovations that have not been previously considered, that are yet to be examined. I thank you for your efforts. ~ Kalki (talk · contributions) 22:38, 19 May 2011 (UTC)
It would be rather awkward to put all those quotes under Neil Armstrong; they are, for the most part, not commenting on him at all, but on the quote itself. BD2412 T 13:47, 6 June 2011 (UTC)
The merge target I originally suggested was not well thought out, but I had an ulterior motive in suggesting this page be reconsidered: I think that a page of "quotes about a quote" sets a problematic precedent. (Consider, hypothetically, what might happen if a prominent politician said something stupid or controversial, if that possibility is not too farfetched.)

It is a defining characteristic of famous quotations that many people refer and allude to them. I don't think we should have pages full of references to famous quotes because (a) it invites the addition of derivative remarks that are not quotable in themselves (quotability is not inherited), and (b) where they are quoteworthy it would be better to put them on a theme page about the subject of the original quote and/or a page about the author or work making the reference.

In this case I was mistaken to suggest the Armstrong page because he is not really the subject of the quotes. The Heinlein quote is already on the author page, and it could also be included on a page about Space exploration. (I can hardly believe we don't already have one. I guess that shows how much enthusiasm for the idea has faded.) The Hillary quote needs context to be meaningful, and I am not sure what to do with it. Is it actually widely quoted? The allusions listed under "Variants and references" do not really seem quoteworthy outside the articles on the quoted works. If they are quotable enough to include there (on which I am not expressing an opinion) it may be appropriate to include a note on the quote to which they allude. ~ Ningauble 16:37, 6 June 2011

There can be no great accomplishment without risk[edit]

  • There can be no great accomplishment without risk.
    • In response to being told that John Bardeen had strongly opposed the space program and had advised Kennedy not to go to the moon.[citation needed]

I removed this from the article, because though it may sound like a plausible remark, it seems to have begun to appear on the internet around 2012 without any clear citations as to original sources. It has appeared in printed books a couple times since then, but without citation, and with no mention of Bardeen being involved. ~ Kalki·· 18:15, 9 December 2014 (UTC)