May 24, 1962: NASA Astronaut Scott Carpenter Departs From Earth Aboard Mercury-Atlas 7

By  //  May 24, 2018

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Carpenter completed three revolutions of Earth in 4 hours and 56 minutes

ABOVE VIDEO: NASA Astronaut Scott Carpenter Departs From Earth Aboard Mercury-Atlas 7.

May 24, 1962 – On this day 56 years ago at 7:45 a.m. ET, astronaut Scott Carpenter left Cape Canaveral, Florida, on top of the Mercury-Atlas 7 (MA-7) to become the fourth American in space and the second American to orbit the Earth.

Carpenter’s mission followed the same profile as John Glenn’s orbital flight 3 months earlier in order to provide more data on astronaut performance in orbit

In his Mercury spacecraft, the Aurora 7, Scott Carpenter did just that, confirming the success of the Mercury-Atlas 6 (MA-6, Glenn’s mission).

Carpenter completed three revolutions of Earth in 4 hours and 56 minutes.

Some problems with the automatic control and stabilization system, combined with a rushed checklist, the return to Earth was not as successful as the rest of the mission.

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The Aurora 7 splashed down in the Atlantic Ocean at 12:41 pm EST, but had overshot the intended landing area by 460 kilometers (250 nautical miles).

After 3 hours floating in his raft Carpenter was picked up by a helicopter sent from the USS Intrepid, and the capsule was retrieved approximately six hours later in a combined effort from the USS Farragut and the USS John R. Pierce.

On his return to Cape Canaveral, NASA Administrator James Webb presented Carpenter with the NASA Distinguished Service Medal.

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