One Small Step

One Small Step

I want to dicuss some famous Moon quotes and it feels natural to start with the original and the best. But quoting it here presents an immediate problem; there is a version that Neil Armstrong insists he said and a version that the world heard. Looking at the reported version we get "That's one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind." This has created decades worth of discussion on what it actually meant. "Man" in the abstract like this means humanity in just the same way as "Mankind".

Instead Armstrong insists that he said "That's one small step for [a] man, one giant leap for Mankind." This version makes a lot more sense, comparing his personal first step onto the moon with its big implications for humanity. Whether he fluffed his line (as it does appear he had prepared it despite him claiming it was off the cuff) or that the static of space cut out the word remains unclear.

But I want to talk about the words of the following Apollo Mission by Pete Conrad, the third man on the moon. In an interview with a journalist before his trip, the journalist was convinced that the words would be provided by NASA rather than be left to the individual astronauts. So Conrad made a bet for the sum of $500 that he could say whatever the journalist wrote for him.  These immortal words as he climbed down the ladder where "Whoopee! Man, that may have been a small one for Neil,  but that's a long one for me." (He was 5'6''.) As his foot hit the moon's surface his next sentence was the bizarre; "Oooh, is that soft and queasy." I love it.

 Pete Conrad taking his first descent

Pete Conrad taking his first descent

Mersenne Primes

Mersenne Primes

Braess' Paradox

Braess' Paradox