Remembering a legendary astronaut — Scott Carpenter

Posted Oct 10, 2013 by Saunon Malek
Scott Carpenter, a prominent space pioneer and the second American to orbit Earth, passed away Thursday at the age of 88 after having suffered complications following a recent stroke.
Scott Carpenter seen in his spacesuit in 1962.
Scott Carpenter seen in his spacesuit in 1962.
He was born on May 1, 1925 in Boulder, Colorado. In 1949, he was commissioned in the U.S. Navy and fought during the Vietnam War as a test pilot. Ten years later, Carpenter was selected to be a crew member of the Mercury 7 — the first group of American astronauts that conducted manned, orbital space flights around Earth. He was preceded by John Glenn, whom was the first person to orbit Earth in his Friendship 7 vessel. Carpenter later conducted three orbits in his Aurora 7 spacecraft in May of 1962, and became the first American astronaut to eat food in space.
His career as an astronaut in NASA did not last very long, however; in 1964, he broke his arm during a motorcycle accident and was deemed unfit for flight service. He later left the institution in 1967, and joined the Navy's SeaLab II program as an aquanaut, conducting several deep-sea operations.
"We have lost a true pioneer. I shall long remember him not only for his smarts and courage but his incredible humor. He kept us all grounded," said a NASA administrator, "We will miss him greatly."
The former astronaut is survived by his wife, six children, one granddaughter and five step-grandchildren.
"We're going to miss him," said his wife, Patty Barrett Carpenter.