Carpenter, Malcolm Scott
(1925-) American test pilot astronaut. Flew on Mercury MA-7, but left NASA under a cloud after running out of propellant on his mission and splashing down 'way down range.
Educated Colorado; Patuxent.
Official NASA Biography
NAME: Scott Carpenter
Scott Carpenter, a dynamic pioneer of modern exploration, has the unique distinction of being the only human ever to penetrate both outer and inner space, thereby acquiring the dual title, astronaut/aquanaut.
He was born in Boulder, Colorado, on May 1, 1925, the son of Dr. M. Scott Carpenter and Mrs. (Florence Kelso Noxon) Carpenter. He attended the University of Colorado and received a Bachelor of Science degree in Aeronautical Engineering.
Carpenter entered the U.S. Navy in 1949 and received flight training at Pensacola, Florida, and Corpus Christi, Texas. During the Korean War, he served in Patrol Squadron SIX, flying anti-submarine, ship surveillance, and aerial mining missions in the Yellow Sea, South China Sea, and the Formosa Straits.
He attended the Navy Test Pilot School at Patuxent River, Maryland, in 1954 and subsequently was assigned to the Electronics Test Division of the Naval Air Test Center. In that assignment he flew tests in a variety of naval aircraft including multi and single engine jet and propeller driven fighters, attack planes, patrol bombers, transports, and seaplanes.
In 1957-1958, he attended the Navy General Line School and the Navy Air Intelligence School and was assigned as Air Intelligence Officer to the Aircraft Carrier U.S.S. HORNET.
Carpenter was selected as one of the original seven U.S. Astronauts on April 9, 1959. He underwent intensive training with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, specializing in the fields of communication and navigation. He served as backup pilot for John Glenn during the preparation for America's first manned orbital flight.
Carpenter flew the second American manned orbital flight on May 24, 1962. He piloted his Aurora 7 spacecraft through three revolutions of the earth, reaching a maximum altitude of 164 miles. The spacecraft landed in the Atlantic Ocean about 1,000 miles southeast of Cape Kennedy after 4 hours and 54 minutes of flight time.
On a leave of absence from NASA, Carpenter participated in the Navy's Man-in-the-Sea Program as an Aquanaut in the SEALAB II experiment off the coast of La Jolla, California. During the experiment, conducted during the summer of 1965, Carpenter spent 30 days living and working on the ocean floor. He was team leader for two of the three teams of Navy men and civilians who lived at a depth of 204 feet during the 45-day experiment.
He returned to duties with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration until August 10, 1967, when he returned to the Navy's Deep Submergence Systems Project as Assistant for Aquanaut Operations during the SEALAB III experiment. (The Deep Submergence Systems Project was responsible for developing deep ocean search, rescue, salvage, ocean engineering and Man-in-the- Sea capabilities, and directed the Navy's Saturation Diving Program.)
Carpenter's awards include, among others, The Legion of Merit, The Distinguished Flying Cross, The NASA Distinguished Service Medal, Astronaut Wings, University of Colorado Recognition Medal, The Collier Trophy, The New York City Gold Medal of Honor, The Elisha Kent Kane Medal, The Boy Scouts of America Silver Buffalo, and The Numismatica Italiana Award.
Since retirement from the Navy in 1969, Carpenter has made his home in Los Angeles, and continues to apply his knowledge of aerospace and ocean engineering technology to the private sector. He is married to the former Maria Roach, daughter of pioneer film producer, Hal Roach, and they have two sons, Matthew Scott and Nicholas Andre.
Birth Place: Boulder, Colorado.
More... - Chronology...
Spaceflights: 1 .
Total time in space: 0.21 days.
Astronaut Category of persons, applied to those trained for spaceflight outside of Russia and China. More...
NASA Group 1 - 1959 Requirement: six pilots for the single-crew Mercury manned spacecraft. Originally a wide pool of candidates was going to be considered, but in December 1958 President Eisenhower ruled that military test pilots would form the candidate pool. Nickname: The Original Seven More...
Mercury MA-6 Crew: Glenn. First US manned orbital mission, three orbits. False landing bag deploy light led to reentry being started with retropack left in place. It turned out the indicator light was false, but a spectacular reentry ensued. Backup crew: Carpenter. More...
Mercury MA-7 Crew: Carpenter. Second US manned orbital mission. Excessive fuel use and pilot error led to late re-entry, and landing 300 km past the intended point. Capsule ran out of orientation fuel during re-entry. Backup crew: Schirra. More...
Associated Manufacturers and Agencies
USN American agency overseeing development of rockets, spacecraft, and rocket engines. USN Joint Task Force 7, USA. More...
Mercury Mercury was America's first man-in-space project. Setting the precedent for the later Gemini, Apollo, and Shuttle programs, any capsule configuration proposed by the contractors was acceptable as long as it was the one NASA's Langley facility, and in particular, Max Faget, had developed. McDonnell, at that time a renegade contractor of innovative Navy fighters that had a history of problems in service, received the contract. The capsule had to be as small as possible to match the payload capability of America's first ICBM, the Atlas, which would be used for orbital missions. The resulting design was less than a third of the weight of the Russian Vostok spacecraft, and more limited as a result. More...
NASA Astronaut Biographies, Johnson Space Center, NASA, 1995-present. Web Address when accessed: here.
1959 April 2 -
- NASA Astronaut Training Group 1 selected. - .
Nation: USA. Related Persons: Carpenter; Cooper; Glenn; Grissom; Schirra; Shepard; Slayton. The group was selected to provide six pilots for the single-crew Mercury manned spacecraft. Originally a wide pool of candidates was going to be considered, but in December 1958 President Eisenhower ruled that military test pilots would form the candidate pool.. Qualifications: Qualified jet pilot with minimum 1,500 flight-hours/10 years experience, graduate of test pilot school, bachelor's degree or equivalent, under 40 years old, under 180 cm height, excellent physical condition.. Screening of military service records showed 110 military officers that met these criteria. These 110 were to be called in three groups for briefings on the Mercury program. Of the first two groups of 35 called, 56 volunteered for further physical and psychiatric tests. This provided enough candidates and the third group was never even called for a briefing or asked if they would like to volunteer. Of the 56 tested, seven were finally selected (no objective way was found to reduce the seven finalists to six).
Of the seven astronauts, all eventually flew in space. Grounded due to a heart murmur, Slayton had to wait 16 years for his flight aboard the last Apollo mission. Glenn left for a career in politics after becoming the first American to orbit the earth, but returned to space aboard a shuttle over 36 years later in a NASA publicity stunt. Schirra was the only astronaut to fly aboard Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo spacecraft. Shepard was the only one to reach the lunar surface (after being grounded for a medical condition during the Gemini program). Grissom would die in the Apollo 204 ground fire.
1959 April 2 -
- Seven astronauts selected for Mercury project. - .
Nation: USA. Related Persons: Cooper; Grissom; Slayton; Carpenter; Shepard; Schirra; Glenn. Program: Mercury. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spacecraft. Spacecraft: Mercury. Seven astronauts were selected for Project Mercury after a series of the most rigorous physical and mental tests ever given to U.S. test pilots. Chosen from a field of 110 candidates, the finalists were all qualified test pilots: Capts. Leroy G. Cooper, Jr., Virgil I. Grissom, and Donald K. Slayton, (USAF); Lt. Malcolm S. Carpenter, Lt. Comdr. Alan B. Shepard, Jr., and Lt. Comdr. Watler M. Schirra, Jr. (USN); and Lt. Col. John H. Glenn (USMC).
1961 November 29 -
- Glenn selected for the first Mercury manned orbital flight. - .
Nation: USA. Related Persons: Glenn; Carpenter. Program: Mercury. Astronaut John Glenn was selected as the pilot for the first Mercury manned orbital flight, with Scott Carpenter as backup pilot. Immediately, training was started to ready these two astronauts for the mission. The five remaining astronauts concentrated their efforts on various engineering and operational groups of the Manned Spacecraft Center in preparation for the mission.
1962 February 20 -
14:47 GMT - .
: Cape Canaveral
. Launch Complex
: Cape Canaveral LC14
. LV Family
. Launch Vehicle
: Atlas D
. LV Configuration
: Atlas D 109D.
- Mercury MA-6 - .
Call Sign: Friendship 7. Crew: Glenn. Backup Crew: Carpenter. Payload: Mercury SC13. Mass: 1,355 kg (2,987 lb). Nation: USA. Related Persons: Glenn; Carpenter. Agency: NASA. Program: Mercury. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spacecraft. Flight: Mercury MA-6. Spacecraft: Mercury. Duration: 0.21 days. Decay Date: 1962-02-20 . USAF Sat Cat: 240 . COSPAR: 1962-Gamma-1. Apogee: 265 km (164 mi). Perigee: 159 km (98 mi). Inclination: 32.5000 deg. Period: 88.60 min. First US manned orbital mission. John Glenn finally puts America in orbit. False landing bag deploy light led to reentry being started with retropack left in place on heat shield. It turned out that indicator light was false and a spectacular reentry ensued, with glowing chunks of the retropack whizzing by the window. After four hours and 43 minutes the spacecraft reentered the atmosphere and landed at 2:43 pm EST in the planned recovery area NE of the Island of Puerto Rico. All flight objectives were achieved. Glenn was reported to be in excellent condition. Beause of failure of one of the automatic systems, the astronaut took over manual control of the spacecraft during part of the flight. With this flight, the basic objectives of Project Mercury had been achieved.
1962 May 24 -
12:45 GMT - .
: Cape Canaveral
. Launch Complex
: Cape Canaveral LC14
. LV Family
. Launch Vehicle
: Atlas D
. LV Configuration
: Atlas D 107D.
- Mercury MA-7 - .
Call Sign: Aurora 7. Crew: Carpenter. Backup Crew: Schirra. Payload: Mercury SC18. Mass: 1,349 kg (2,974 lb). Nation: USA. Related Persons: Carpenter; Schirra. Agency: NASA. Program: Mercury. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spacecraft. Flight: Mercury MA-7. Spacecraft: Mercury. Duration: 0.21 days. Decay Date: 1962-05-24 . USAF Sat Cat: 295 . COSPAR: 1962-Tau-1. Apogee: 260 km (160 mi). Perigee: 154 km (95 mi). Inclination: 32.5000 deg. Period: 88.50 min. Scott Carpenter in Aurora 7 is enthralled by his environment but uses too much orientation fuel. Yaw error and late retrofire caused the landing impact point to be over 300 km beyond the intended area and beyond radio range of the recovery forces. Landing occurred 4 hours and 56 minutes after liftoff. Astronaut Carpenter was later picked up safely by a helicopter after a long wait in the ocean and fears for his safety. NASA was not impressed and Carpenter left the agency soon thereafter to become an aquanaut.
1962 May 27 -
- Carpenter and Williams awarded NASA Distinguished Service Medal - .
Nation: USA. Related Persons: Carpenter. Program: Mercury. Summary: Scott Carpenter and Walter C. Williams were awarded the NASA Distinguished Service Medal by James Webb, NASA Administrator, in a ceremony at Cape Canaveral..
1962 June 25 -
- Carpenter received Astronaut Wings - .
Nation: USA. Related Persons: Carpenter. Program: Mercury. Summary: Scott Carpenter was the fourth individual of Project Mercury to be presented Astronaut Wings by his respective service..
1963 January 26 -
- New assignments for the seven original astronauts - .
Nation: USA. Related Persons: Cooper; Grissom; Slayton; Carpenter; Shepard; Schirra; Glenn; Armstrong; Borman; Conrad; Lovell; McDivitt; See; Stafford; White; Young. Program: Apollo. Spacecraft: Gemini. MSC announced new assignments for the seven original astronauts: L. Gordon Cooper, Jr., and Alan B. Shepard, Jr., would be responsible for the remaining pilot phases of Project Mercury; Virgil I. Grissom would specialize in Project Gemini; John H. Glenn, Jr., would concentrate on Project Apollo; M. Scott Carpenter would cover lunar excursion training; and Walter M. Schirra, Jr., would be responsible for Gemini and Apollo operations and training. As Coordinator for Astronaut Activities, Donald K. Slayton would maintain overall supervision of astronaut duties.
Specialty areas for the second generation were: trainers and simulators, Neil A. Armstrong; boosters, Frank Borman; cockpit layout and systems integration, Charles Conrad, Jr.; recovery system, James A. Lovell, Jr.; guidance and navigation, James A. McDivitt; electrical, sequential, and mission planning, Elliot M. See, Jr.; communications, instrumentation, and range integration, Thomas P. Stafford; flight control systems, Edward H. White II; and environmental control systems, personal equipment, and survival equipment, John W. Young.
1963 May 6 -
- Apollo LEM manual control simulated - .
Nation: USA. Related Persons: Carpenter; Schirra; Armstrong; McDivitt; See; White; Conrad; Young. Program: Apollo. Spacecraft: Apollo LM; CSM Guidance; LM Simulator. Astronauts M. Scott Carpenter, Walter M. Schirra, Jr., Neil A. Armstrong, James A. McDivitt, Elliot M. See, Jr., Edward H. White II, Charles Conrad, Jr., and John W. Young participated in a study in LTV's Manned Space Flight Simulator at Dallas, Tex. Under an MSC contract, LTV was studying the astronauts' ability to control the LEM manually and to rendezvous with the CM if the primary guidance system failed during descent.
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