But Linux users can analyse the recording using, for example, Audacity. You might want to do it to celebrate the 40th anniversary of that momentous occasion. You can download an MP3 file of the recording from the following NASA Web page: One Small Step.
If you haven't already got Audacity installed, you can install it as the root user using either Entropy or Portage. Let's go with Entropy to save a little time:
Code: Select all
equo install audacity
Well, the NASA Web page I referred to above states:
What do you think? I'm not convinced he said the "a".[At the time of the mission, the world heard Neil say "That's one small step for man; one giant leap for mankind". As Andrew Chaikin details in A Man on the Moon, after the mission, Neil said that he had intended to say 'one small step for a man' and believed that he had done so. However, he also agreed that the 'a' didn't seem to be audible in the recordings. The important point is that the world had no problem understanding his meaning. However, over the decades, people interested in details of the mission - including your editor - have listened repeatedly to the recordings, without hearing any convincing evidence of the 'a'. In 2006, with a great deal of attendant media attention, journalist/ entrepreneur Peter Shann Ford claimed to have located the 'a' in the waveform of Neil's transmission. Subsequently, more rigorous analyses of the transmission were undertaken by a number of people, including some with professional experience with audio waveforms and, most importantly, audio spectrograms. As of October 2006, none of these analyses support Ford's conclusion. The transcription used above honors Neil's intent.]
While you're at it, the newspaper reports for the 21 and 22 July 1969 make fascinating reading. For example you can read online the UK Daily Telegraph pages about the Apollo 11 Moon landing here: Moon landings: How the Daily Telegraph reported on Apollo 11
Also, I was fascinated to read recently about the Italian high school class that used Audacity to analyse the time delay between Mission Control's and Armstrong's replies -- you can hear the delays in the MP3 file -- and calculated accurately the distance between the Earth and the Moon: Echoes from the Moon. Now that is one science class those school students won't forget. What a great idea by the school teacher.
A wonderful demonstration, albeit not Apollo 11, was performed on the Moon by the Apollo 15 astronaut David Scott: he dropped a hammer and a feather simultaneously. For those of you who aren't engineers or scientists, or who don't remember your school physics classes, take a look at practice proving theory correct in a fun way: The Apollo 15 Hammer-Feather Drop.
Did you know that more than 300,000 people worked on the Apollo programme, and it cost between 20 and 25 billion US dollars (1969 US dollars, which would be much more today taking into account inflation between 1969 and 2009)? It also cost several lives.
As I look out of the window of my room over an orange sunset and recall watching on a black-and-white TV set in 1969 as Armstrong climbed down the ladder of the Eagle, I think the Apollo programme was one of Mankind's most amazing technological achievements.