Which Astronaut’s First Moonwalk Words Were Intended To Settle A Bet?
Answer: Pete Conrad
On July 21, 1969, American astronaut Neil Armstrong, descending from the Apollo 11 lunar lander, became the first human to walk upon the surface of the Moon, famously declaring, “That’s one small step for [a] man, one giant leap for mankind.” as he landed in the soft lunar soil.
Four months later, ferried by the Apollo 12 lander, American astronaut Pete Conrad also slid down the ladder to the soft and dusty surface of the Moon. When his boots touched down, he declared, “Whoopee! Man, that may have been a small one for Neil, but that’s a long one for me.”
Conrad later revealed that his off-cuff comment on his first lunar walk was actually a bid to win a bet with Italian journalist Oriana Fallaci. Fallaci believed that all the comments the astronauts made were scripted by NASA. Conrad bet $500 that it wasn’t so and won the bet with his “Whoopee!” comment.
Image courtesy of NASA/Alan Bean/Wikimedia.