NASA HISTORY: Scott Carpenter Launches Into Orbit Aboard Aurora 7 Capsule 59 Years Ago

By  //  May 25, 2021

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May 24, 1962

ABOVE VIDEO: Scott Carpenter & Aurora 7

BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA  – In 1962, Scott Carpenter launched into orbit in his capsule, Aurora 7.

Carpenter named his capsule “Aurora”, because he viewed his flight as a “celestial event” like the aurora borealis and “7” in honor of his fellow astronauts.

However, people from his hometown didn’t accept his explanation and believed the name originated from his childhood home at the corner of Aurora and Seven Street.

The flight lasted nearly five hours and completed 3 orbits. Carpenter spent the mission testing equipment and taking photographs.

The spacecraft overshot the intended splashdown area by about 250 nautical miles and was retrieved hours later. Carpenter’s only company in that time was a school of gold-colored fish that had taken up residence under the shade of his raft.