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It is perhaps the most famous phrase ever uttered by a human being, a form of words which instantly summed up the meaning of an extraordinary moment in the history of the human race. "That's one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind."But did Neil Armstrong really mean to say those words when he stepped onto the moon and spoke to an estimated 600 million television viewers around the world? Ever since the landing on 20 July 1969, there has been controversy over whether he fluffed his line.Did Armstrong really mean to say "a man" instead of just "man"?When Armstrong returned from space, he claimed he had been misquoted and the tiny word "a" had been omitted from the offical version of the mission transcript.Nasa claimed that the word was unheard and unrecorded in the transmission because of static.The omission of the word changed the meaning of the phrase entirely, taking it beyond a statement from one individual and turning it into a universal statement.News reporters at the time listened again to the raw footage and agreed it was unclear whether Armstrong had actually said "a man" or "man". Realising that it was set to be one of the most important quotes in history, they decided to unanimously settle on one version, which was sent out across the world.However, the New York Times claimed Armstrong's quote could be heard clearly in the recording and concluded that he simply had messed up his line.
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