Though state of the art at the time, did the wireless intercom used by NASA to talk to the Apollo 11 team during the historic Moon landing garbled Neil Armstrong’s iconic speech?
By: Ringo Bones
“Its one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.” The iconic speech made by Neil Armstrong when he set foot on the Moon was not what it supposed to be. Even though the audio quality might not be on par with the iconic Abbey Road Studios circa 1969, does the inherent distortion of the wireless intercom used by NASA to communicate between their Houston base and the Apollo 11 astronauts on the Moon was distorted enough to “garble” Neil Armstrong’s now iconic speech?
During the Moon landing back in July 20, 1969, Neil Armstrong claims that his “one small step…” speech via wireless intercom has a word missing. Modern analysis of the recordings of the wireless intercom of that historic event by John Ollson, a forensic linguist, has shown that there’s no room for the missing “a” in Armstrong’s iconic speech back in 1969. So is it now Armstrong’s garbled speech that is known to posterity? While it is no secret that several years before the wireless intercom chosen by NASA sometimes has audibility problems even when talking to astronauts on the launch pad minutes before being launched into space.