Did Neil Armstrong Say "Good Luck, Mr. Gorsky!" on the Moon?

A Good Joke Lives On

Were astronaut Neil Armstrong's actual first words upon setting foot on the surface of the moon "Good luck, Mr. Gorsky"? This urban legend has been circulating since 1995.

The Origin of the Neil Armstrong Myth

This whopper of a tall tale has been distributed online for years and can be found on any number of blogs and websites accompanied by the claim that it really happened. But it didn't happen, as can be easily verified by checking the official lunar landing transcript on NASA's Apollo 11 site (audio and video clips are included).

Sometimes attributed to stand-up comedian Buddy Hackett, "Good Luck, Mr. Gorsky" clearly was created as a joke, evolving into an urban legend over time through sheer repetition as a true story. In spite of the ease with which this revisionist history of the Apollo moon landing and moonwalk is debunked, it will doubtless be with us for decades to come.

A related urban legend popular among Muslims claims that Armstrong heard a voice say "Allahu akbar" ("God is great") the moment he stepped on the moon and was inspired to convert to Islam. This never happened.

Sample Email Perpetuating the Neil Armstrong Myth

Here's a forwarded email on the topic contributed in 1999:

Here is a TRUE anecdote about Neil Armstrong:

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 also followed it by several remarks, usual communication traffic between him, the other astronauts and Mission Control. Just before he re-entered the lander, however, he made this remark: "Good luck, Mr. Gorsky."

Many people at NASA thought it was a casual remark concerning some rival Soviet Cosmonaut. However, upon checking, there was no Gorsky in either the Russian or American space programs. Over the years many people questioned Armstrong as to what the statement "Good luck Mr. Gorsky", but Armstrong always just smiled.

On July 5, 1995 in Tampa Bay FL, while answering questions following a speech, a reporter brought up the 26-year-old question to Armstrong. This time he finally responded. Mr. Gorsky had finally died and so Neil Armstrong felt he could answer the question.

When he was a kid, he was playing baseball with a friend in the backyard. His friend hit a fly ball which landed in the front of his neighbor's bedroom windows. His neighbors were Mr. and Mrs. Gorsky.

As he leaned down to pick up the ball, young Armstrong heard Mrs. Gorsky shouting at Mr. Gorsky. "Oral sex! You want oral sex?! You'll get oral sex when the kid next door walks on the moon!" True story.

Myths Debunked

Following Neil Armstrong's death, major media outlets including NBC News and CBS News listed the Mr. Gorsky tale as a myth or urban legend, ascribing it to Buddy Hackett from an appearance on "The Tonight Show." NBC News also says that the Islamic rumor circulated during the 1980s and the U.S. State Department enabled Armstrong to try to correct the story with journalists.

However, as with many stories, it lives on via the Internet.

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Emery, David. "Did Neil Armstrong Say "Good Luck, Mr. Gorsky!" on the Moon?" ThoughtCo, Aug. 7, 2017, thoughtco.com/did-neil-armstrong-say-good-luck-mr-gorsky-4074785. Emery, David. (2017, August 7). Did Neil Armstrong Say "Good Luck, Mr. Gorsky!" on the Moon? Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/did-neil-armstrong-say-good-luck-mr-gorsky-4074785 Emery, David. "Did Neil Armstrong Say "Good Luck, Mr. Gorsky!" on the Moon?" ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/did-neil-armstrong-say-good-luck-mr-gorsky-4074785 (accessed November 22, 2017).