JFK+50: Volume 6, No. 1959AURORA 7 OVERSHOOTS LANDING TARGET AFTER 3 EARTH ORBITS
Cape Canaveral, Florida (JFK+50) Most Americans know that John Glenn was the first American astronaut to orbit the earth, but they probably could not tell you who made the second orbital flight.
Fifty-four years ago today, May 24, 1962, Scott Carpenter* splashed down in the Atlantic Ocean after three successful earth orbits, becoming the second American to orbit the planet. He also was the first astronaut to eat solid food in space.
Unfortunately, however, the end of Carpenter's mission did not go as planned. His Aurora 7 spacecraft splashed down 250 miles away from his scheduled landing point.
After spending almost five hours in space, the astronaut then had to wait three more hours for Navy personnel to get in a position to retrieve him. He was found bobbing up and down in his life raft beside his space capsule.
*Malcolm Scott Carpenter (1925-2013), one of the original seven Mercury astronauts, was born in Boulder, Colorado and graduated from the University of Colorado in 1962. MSC became a US Navy pilot and served in the Korean War.
MSC served in the Sea Lab program for the US Navy & resigned from NASA in 1967.
MSC died in hospice care in Denver on October 10, 2013, 50 years to the day after President John F. Kennedy presented the Collier Trophy to the Mercury 7 at the White House.
"Scott Carpenter, Mercury astronaut, dead at 88," by William Harwood, www.cbsnews.com
Malcolm Scott Carpenter
Carpenter in Recovery Training