reason for background explained under "About The Spaceflight"

M. Scott Carpenter
Commander, U.S. Navy (Retired)


Born May 1, 1925 in Boulder, Colorado
Bachelor of Science in Aeronautical Engineering,
University of Colorado
Veteran of WWII and the Korean War

About the Man:

Scott Carpenter learned the art of woodcrafting as a boy from his grandfather, who also gave Scott his first job delivering newspapers. In high school, Scott was an excellent skier and dancer as well.

After graduating high school in 1943, he entered a Navy Flight Training Program at Colorado College. Scott Carpenter received additional flight training at St. Mary's Preflight School in Moraga, California, and at Ottumwa, Iowa. After serving in World War II, Carpenter attended the University of Colorado to study aeronautical engineering

In November 1951, the Navy assigned Carpenter to Korean War duty at Barbers Point, Hawaii, where he became a member of The Patrol Squadron 6. While stationed there, he flew in antisubmarine patrols, and conducted aerial mine-laying activities. He engaged in shipping surveillance missions in the Formosa Straits, in the Yellow Sea, and in the South China Sea.

In 1954, Carpenter entered the Navy Test Pilot School at Patuxent, Maryland. The Navy assigned him to the Electronics Test Division of its Naval Air Test Center. While serving at the center, Carpenter developed exceptional skill in the testing of innovative naval jets.

Carpenter had accumulated a total of approximately twenty-nine hundred hours of flying time. Four hundred of those hours were spent flying jet aircraft. He was an experienced test pilot, and he was adept in engineering.

About the Spaceflight:
Mercury 7 (Aurora)

Mercury/Aurora 7  
May 24, 1962

Flight Duration: Four hours and fifty-six minutes, 3 orbits.

During the flight, Carpenter conducted a number of experiments and he discovered facts that they had not previously known. By photography and through his personal observation, Carpenter was able to gather detailed information on the appearance of the Earth and its atmosphere. He obtained more facts about various celestial phenomena discovered on earlier space flights.

Carpenter studied the movements of liquids freed from gravity, and he became the first astronaut to drink large quantities of water for restoring water balance after perspiration.

Carpenter proved that astronauts could digest solid high-protein foods during weightlessness. It was an important discovery for astronauts on future extended flights into space, because they would need to eat and drink during the long flights.

Carpenter's spacecraft splashed down two hundred and fifty miles beyond the point where NASA expected it to land. For forty-five minutes, millions of people waited anxiously to learn of his whereabouts. He was out of communications range, and rescuers could not locate him.

Then at 1:22 p.m., a Navy plane spotted Carpenter in a life raft beside the Mercury capsule. A medical team examined him, and found him to be in good physical condition. M. Scott Carpenter was the second American to orbit the Earth.

Space Odyssey Video - Carpenter Orbits the Earth

Click on the Mercury 7 Patch to read about Scott Carpenter's historic
spaceflight in more detail at NASA'a Kennedy Space Center Website.

All Images and Information Courtesy of NASA

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