Software Revises Neil Armstrong's Moon Quote

HOUSTON (AP) -- That's one small word for astronaut NeilArmstrong, one giant revision for grammar sticklers everywhere.

An Australian computer programmer says he found the missing"a" from Armstrong's famous first words from the moon in 1969, whenthe world heard the phrase, ''That's one small step for man, one giant leap formankind."

The story was reported in Saturday's editions of the HoustonChronicle.

Some historians and critics have dogged Armstrong for notsaying the more dramatic and grammatically correct, "One small step for a man..." in the version he transmitted to NASA's Mission Control. Without themissing "a," Armstrong essentially said, ''One small step for mankind, onegiant leap for mankind."

The famous astronaut has maintained he intended to say itproperly and believes he did. Thanks to some high-tech sound-editing software,computer programmer Peter Shann Ford might have proved Armstrong right.

Ford said he downloaded the audio recording of Armstrong'swords from a NASA Web site and analyzed the statement with software that allowsdisabled people to communicate through computers using their nerve impulses.

In a graphical representation of the famous phrase, Fordsaid he found evidence that the missing "a" was spoken andtransmitted to NASA.

"I have reviewed the data and Peter Ford's analysis ofit, and I find the technology interesting and useful," Armstrong said in astatement. ''I also find his conclusion persuasive. Persuasive is theappropriate word."

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