The Original "Voice of the Astronauts" - John "Shorty" Powers

 John "Shorty" Powers, the "voice of the Astronauts," sits between John Glenn and Alan Shepard during a press conference interview with the first American in space (Shepard) and the first American to orbit the Earth (Glenn).

John "Shorty" Powers, the "voice of the Astronauts," sits between John Glenn and Alan Shepard during a press conference interview with the first American in space (Shepard) and the first American to orbit the Earth (Glenn).

John Anthony Powers (August 22, 1922–December 31, 1979), better known to the world as John "Shorty" Powers, was an American public affairs officer for NASA from 1959 to 1963 during Project Mercury. Shorty was on loan to NASA from the US Air Force. As the public affairs officer working with the original Mercury 7 astronauts, Shorty became known as the "voice of the astronauts," the "voice of Mercury Control," and, much to NASA chagrin, the "eighth astronaut." Shorty became famous for coining the phrase "A-OK," and for having more of a promotional bent to his style than a more brand journalism approach that NASA HQ desired. Most impressive to those who haven't heard his voice, is that Shorty Powers had the voice that one would EXPECT in the role....almost completely out of central casting! Listen to the clip below of a promotional recording made after Shorty left NASA. His deep timber voice will be familiar to all those who listened to the earliest US manned space launches!

Posted on February 13, 2014 .