Claim: Neil Armstrong cryptically uttered “Good luck,
Example: [Collected on the Internet, 1995]
When Apollo Mission Astronaut Neil Armstrong first walked on the moon, he not only gave his famous “One small step for man; one giant leap for mankind” statement, but followed it by several remarks, including the usual COM traffic between him, the other astronauts, and Mission Control. Before he
Many people at NASA thought it was a casual remark concerning some rival Soviet Cosmonaut. However, upon checking, [they found] there was no Gorsky in either the Russian or American space programs.
Over the years, many people have questioned him as to what the “Good luck,
Variations: Sometimes the story is told with Armstrong uttering, “That’s one small step for man; one giant leap for Manny Klein,” with the unfortunate
Origins: This legend, seemingly an obvious joke,
began circulating on the Internet in
neighbor, the date of the press conference on which he revealed the meaning of his remark) apparently led some to believe the farcical story might have some truth to it.
At its most basic level, this tale is a humorous anecdote that plays on the stereotypical portrayal of Jewish wives as reluctant to engage in recreational (and especially oral) sex. In variant forms of this legend the last name of Neil Armstrong’s neighbor is different, but the surname used is always a “Jewish-sounding” one, such as Gorsky, Seligman, Schultz, Lipinski, or Klein; the unusual word order employed by the wife in her refusal (“Oral sex you want?”) is also a stereotypical speech pattern attributed to Jews. On another level, this legend can be seen as an attempt to humanize a cultural hero by associating him with a story that is both humorous and racy: Neil Armstrong, the world-famous astronaut, is made to seem like a “regular” guy.
Any doubts about the veracity of this legend are laid to rest by the NASA transcripts of the
Sightings: When the space shuttle Columbia crew completed a repair mission on the Hubble Space Telescope in March 2002, chief repairman John Grunsfeld called out (in homage to this legend) “Good luck,
Last updated: 19 July 2014
Pollock, Robert. Good Luck Mr. Gorsky: Exploring Urban Myths. New Zealand: Reed Books, 1999. ISBN 0-7900-0686-3 (p. 149). Quint, Barbara. “Another ‘Mr. Gorsky’ Story.” Searcher. April 1996 (p. 37). Thompson, Tracy. “World Wide Web: The Craziest Rumors Fall Through the Net.” The Washington Post. 21 February 21 1996 (p. B1). Walker, Whitney. “Tales from the Cyber Side.” [New York] Daily News. 14 July 1996 (p. 3). Wheen, Francis. “Wanting the Moon.” The Guardian. 15 November 1995 (p. T5). Associated Press. “Work on Hubble Scope Called Success.” Los Angeles Times. 10 March 2002.