Born on May 1st, 1925 in Boulder, CO, Carpenter followed John Glenn to become the 2nd American to orbit the Earth. A veteran of the Korean War, Carpenter attended Test Pilot School with the U.S. Navy.
Selected for the Mercury Program in 1959, Scott first flew into space on May 24th, 1962. Despite a malfunction causing him to overshoot his landing area by 250 miles, Carpenter’s flight was declared a rousing success by NASA officials based on the 5 successful experiments conducted during the flight.
After an unrelated injury in 1964 prevented him from flying in space again, he took a leave from NASA in 1963 in order to perform oceanic research with the Navy’s SEALAB program, but returned briefly to NASA before resigning in 1967 to continue work with the SEALAB project before retiring from the Navy in 1969 to explore some private endeavors in environmental research.
Though of the Mercury 7, only John Glenn is still with us, none will be forgotten as the inspiration for countless astronauts, scientists, and engineers that followed their adventures.
Malcolm Scott Carpenter, Star Voyager, 1925 – 2013