Student or Learner
Nasa launched GP-B on 20 April, 2004, but it started funding the mission concept in 1963, long before Neil Armstrong had stepped on the Moon.
What I know is we use past perfect after after, so shouldn't have it been like that:
Nasa launched GP-B on 20 April, 2004, but it had started funding the mission concept in 1963, long before Neil Armstrong stepped on the Moon.
***** A NON-TEACHER's COMMENT *****
(1) I could not sleep last night because I was thinking about your
(2) Could you tell us the publication that printed this sentence?
(Some publications have a reputation for "excellent" English.)
(3) I have been studying LQZ's and Freezeframe's answers very
carefully and have learned a lot from them.
(4) PLEASE: could other members also contribute their thoughts???
(I really want to get some sleep tonight.)
P.S. Thanks for your question. I now realize how little of the past
perfect I understand. It is good to be humbled.
I am back to expand my explanation.
1 All letters of NASA should be capitalized.
NasaNASA launched GP-B on 20 April, 2004, but it had started funding the mission concept in 1963, long before Neil Armstrong (had) stepped on the Moon.
2 "Had started" indicates that the action of funding was completed (finished or perfected) at some point in 1963, which makes no sense at all.
3 Either "had stepped" or "stepped" is fine. I've come across many sentences using the past perfect or the past tense after an "after". But I would say the past tense is more commonly used.
Note: I am neither an English teacher nor a native. So if I am wrong, please correct me. Thanks.
Your version is more logical, but many native speakers would happily say, "NASA lauched GP-B on 20 April, but it started funding the mission concept in 1963, long before Neil Armstrong stepped on the Moon", as LQZ suggested originally. We do not always worry too much about the past perfect,
Neil Armstrong had stepped on the Moon long before NASA launched GP-B on 20 April, 2004, and the GP-B mission concept had been funded long before that.
Your sentence is a proper correction.
As I said, the OP's sentence is a correct version of the author's probable intent.
BBC News - Gravity Probe B confirms Einstein effects
Thanks all for contributing, I'm sometimes not sure for the sentences on BBC whether they are gramatically correct, BBC and mistake with English shouldn't be.That's why I need to ask here, thanks again.