01:58 - Source: CNN
Neil Armstrong's famous quote analyzed

Story highlights

Armstrong was heard around the world calling the first moon walk a "small step for man"

He contended he had said "a man"

Numerous studies have been carried out

A new study of speech patterns near his hometown found he may have said "for a"

CNN —  

When astronaut Neil Armstrong uttered what became one of the best-known – and most debated – quotes in all of history, he actually might have said it exactly the way he meant to, not the way people heard it.

After Armstrong lowered his left foot from the landing craft to the surface of the moon, people watching around the world heard him call it “one small step for man.”

Both he and NASA initially insisted that he said “one small step for a man,” and now a new and novel study on the much-analyzed quote backs him up.

Researchers from Michigan State University and Ohio State University have “bolstered Neil Armstrong’s side of the story,” said Laura Dilley, an MSU assistant professor of communicative sciences and disorders.

After becoming the first person to step on the moon in 1969, Armstrong said what was heard as: “That’s one small step for man; one giant leap for mankind.”

You can hear the audio here.

Later, as NASA explains, Armstrong said he had intended to say “a man,” and thought he had. But he agreed th