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Who Said It First?

Patricia Sullivan

We get a lot of e-mail here but today's mail brings in a query from one of the volunteer editors at Wikipedia who's trying to resolve which astronaut first quipped that as he waited for launch into space, he thought "Every part of this ship was built by the low bidder."

Gene Kranz in his book Failure Is Not an Option attributed it to Alan Shepard. I quoted Wally Schirra , from one of many interviews and profiles written about him.

Who said it first? I don't know. But it has the feel of a phrase that, once coined, was often repeated, and not always by the originator.

By Patricia Sullivan  |  November 15, 2007; 10:33 AM ET
Categories:  Patricia Sullivan  
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