Scott Carpenter

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Scott Carpenter
Scott Carpenter
Country: United States
Organization: NASA
selected on April 2, 1959
(1st NASA Group)
Calls: 1 space flight
Begin: May 24, 1962
Landing: May 24, 1962
Time in space: 4h 56min
retired on August 1967
Space flights

Malcolm Scott Carpenter (born May 1, 1925 in Boulder , Colorado , † October 10, 2013 in Denver , Colorado) was an American astronaut and aquanaut .


Carpenter's parents separated when he was three years old. Because his mother had tuberculosis , he grew up with family friends. After studying aerospace engineering at the University of Boulder , Carpenter joined the US Navy in 1949 and became a pilot there in 1951, and a test pilot from 1954.

Astronaut career

In 1959 he was elected to the first group of US astronauts ( Mercury Seven) by NASA . He specialized in communication and navigation. When the first US space flight was launched into orbit in February 1962, Carpenter was available as a substitute for the pilot John Glenn .

Carpenter checks Aurora 7's heat shield

For the second flight of an American in orbit , Deke Slayton was planned first. However, when he was unable to fly due to heart problems, Carpenter was selected for this flight. On May 24, 1962, he started the Mercury-Atlas 7 mission in the Aurora 7 spacecraft. After three orbits the Earth, he landed in the Atlantic , but 400 km from the rescue ship, so he had to wait several hours for his recovery. He was the only Mercury astronaut who had left the capsule through the exit hatch at the top, as had originally been planned by the technicians, all other astronauts used the side hatch.

His other duties at NASA included overseeing the development and construction of the lunar module for the Apollo program . On leave from NASA, Carpenter took part in the US Navy's Sealab II project. During this time he sustained injuries to his left arm in a motorcycle accident, which impaired his mobility. Despite two surgical interventions (1964 and 1967), it was no longer fit for space flight. In the summer of 1965 he spent a month in an underwater station at a depth of 60 meters. After his return to NASA, Carpenter used this experience as the person responsible for underwater training for the astronauts.

According to NASA

In August 1967, Carpenter left NASA for good and returned to the Navy, where he led the aquanaut operations of the Sealab III project. In 1969 he retired from military service. Carpenter founded the private equity firm Sear Sciences, whose goal was to make better use of marine resources. He worked closely with the French marine researcher Jacques-Yves Cousteau . He dived in all oceans , including under the ice of the Arctic Ocean .


Carpenter wrote two novels and an autobiography. He was married four times, divorced three times, and had seven children. He died in October 2013 at the age of 88 years in a hospital in Denver from the effects of a stroke .


  • (with Kris Stoever): For spacious skies: the uncommon journey of a Mercury astronaut. Harcourt, Orlando 2002.
  • Deep flight. Novel. Pocket Books, New York 1991.
  • The Steel Albatross . Novel. Pocket Books, New York 1991.
  • Inner space. Silver Burdett, Morristown, NJ 1969.
  • Exploring space and sea. Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington 1967.
  • (with the other astronauts in the Mercury program): We Seven . Simon & Schuster, New York 1962.

See also

Web links

Commons : Scott Carpenter  - Collection of Images, Videos and Audio Files

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Scott Carpenter, astronaut-aquanaut, this what second American in orbit
  2. NASA biography of Scott Carpenter (English; PDF)