May 24, 1962, NASA astronaut. Scott CarpenterHe was the fourth American to go into space and the second American to orbit the earth. Carpenter with Aura 7 was sent to Earth orbit.
This astronaut in 1959 as one of the seven original astronauts Mercury He was selected and trained in navigation and communications at NASA. In preparations for America’s first manned space flight in 1962, he was co-pilot “John Glenn» It had circled the earth for the first time three months ago.
The two astronauts had very similar missions, although Carpenter’s duties included more scientific experiments. Both on rockets Mercury Atlas They took off from the same launch pad in Cape Canaveral. They also completed three circuits in less than five hours.
But a big difference between the two missions was the accuracy of their landings. Glenn set his landing record about 50 miles from the launch pad, but Carpenter’s landing was more than 250 miles from the launch pad. He drifted in the ocean for more than an hour when he landed, while rescue teams tried to find him in another area of the ocean. The US Navy found him floating in the Caribbean Sea in his life jacket.
Some NASA officials said Carpenter was distracted and started his landing preparations late. But he admitted that he had made mistakes, and that he also attributed some of the mistakes to control problems with the Aura 7 spacecraft.
Carpenter never returned to space missions. But a little later, he joined the naval laboratory program of two navies and spent thirty days under the ocean in 1965.