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Neil Armstrong Lied? Astronaut's Brother Says 'Small Step' Line Was Crafted Before Moon Mission (VIDEO)

01/02/2013 02:30 pm ET | Updated Jan 23, 2014

"That's one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind."

It's one of the 20th century's most famous lines, but what if Neil Armstrong lied about when it was composed?

The Apollo 11 astronaut was quoted in a 2005 biography as saying he formulated the line while en route to the moon, NBC News reported. But Armstrong's brother Dean said in a new BBC documentary that it was written long before the astronaut's boots ever touched moon dust.

In the documentary, aired only months after Armstrong's death, Dean Armstrong insisted his brother had showed him the remarks before the mission and asked his opinion.

“Before he went to the Cape, he invited me down to spend a little time with him," Dean Armstrong said, according to The Telegraph. "He said 'why don’t you and I, once the boys go to bed, why don’t we play a game of Risk.' I said I’d enjoy that. We started playing Risk and then he slipped me a piece of paper and said 'read that.' I did. On that piece of paper there was 'That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind’. He says 'what do you think about that?’ I said 'fabulous’. He said 'I thought you might like that, but I wanted you to read it’.”

In "A Man on the Moon," author Andrew Chaikin wrote that Armstrong was flooded with suggestions for the first words he would speak on the moon. Quotations from the Bible and Shakespeare were floated as possibilities, according to NBC.

Neil Armstrong also maintained that he said, "That's one small step for a man," but that the "a" was lost in transmission. In 2006, an analysis of the taped utterance seemed to find evidence of the missing article, according to the Associated Press.

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