Nicodemus (nicodemusrat) wrote,

Lunar Language

In July of 1969, Apollo XI made a successful landing and man walked on the moon for the first time. I'm sure we all remember Armstrong's famous words, "That's one small step for [a] man, one giant leap for mankind."

(The "a" is usually shown in brackets since there's some debate about whether it was actually said. Neil Armstrong has maintained that he said it. The audio tapes are inconclusive, but there's definitely some space for it. I tend to believe he said it but, what with the heavy breathing and excitement, his enunciation just wasn't as good as it might've been.)

Then, later that same year, Apollo XII made a perfect landing as mankind returned to the moon.

Do you remember who stepped out from Apollo XII (becoming the third person, after Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin) to walk on the moon? Do you remember what he said?

Pete Conrad stepped off the lander's ladder and said, "Whoopie! Man, that may have been a small one for Neil, but that's a long one for me." Yes, folks, that's the official NASA transcript. :) Pete was followed by Al Bean, the fourth person to walk on the moon.

So maybe Apollo XII was a little less formal. I think it has a certain common humanity to it, though.

In later interviews, Pete said that he had taken a bet from a reporter who believed that the government dictated what they should say. According to him, the wager was never paid off, though.
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