Alan Shepard's A-Okay and other space program myths

Smithsonian magazine presents "Ten Enduring Myths About the US Space Program." Of course, the moon landing hoax made the cut but there are several good ones in the mix:

 ~Culp Space Shepard

“Alan Shepard is A-Okay.”

Several famous inventions have been mistakenly attributed to the space program—Tang, Velcro and Teflon, just to name a few.

Most of these claims have been widely debunked. However, one of the most enduring spinoffs attributed to NASA is the introduction of the expression “A-Okay” into everyday vernacular.

The quote is attributed to astronaut Alan Shepard, during the first U.S. suborbital spaceflight on May 5, 1961. The catchphrase caught on—not unlike the expression “five-by-five,” which began as a radio term describing a clear signal.

Transcripts from that space mission, however, reveal that Shepard never said “A-Okay.” It was NASA’s public relations officer for Project Mercury, Col. John “Shorty” Powers, who coined the phrase—attributing it to Shepard—during a post-mission press briefing.

"Ten Enduring Myths About the U.S. Space Program"