Malcolm Scott Carpenter
, 1925-2013.was an American test pilot, astronaut, and aquanaut. He was one of the original seven astronauts selected for NASA’s Project Mercury in April 1959
[hr_invisible] Born in Boulder, Colorado, Carpenter moved to New York City with his parents Marion Scott Carpenter and Florence [née
Noxon] Carpenter for the first two years of his life. His father had been awarded a postdoctoral research post at Columbia University. In the summer of 1927, Scott returned to Boulder with his mother, then ill with tuberculosis. He was raised by his maternal grandparents in the family home at the corner of Aurora Avenue and Seventh Street, until his graduation from Boulder High School in 1943.(It was claimed that his reason for choosing the name ‘Aurora 7’ for his spacecraft was for the fact that he was raised at this house on the corner of Aurora and Seventh, but Carpenter denied this.)
After being chosen for Project Mercury in 1959, Carpenter served as backup pilot for John Glenn, who flew the first U.S. orbital mission aboardFriendship 7
in February 1962. When Deke Slayton was withdrawn on medical grounds from Project Mercury’s second manned orbital flight (to be titled Delta 7
), Carpenter was assigned to replace him. He flew into space on May 24, 1962, atop the Mercury-Atlas 7 rocket for a three-orbit science mission that lasted nearly five hours. His Aurora 7
spacecraft attained a maximum altitude of 164 miles (264 km) and an orbital velocity of 17,532 miles per hour (28,215 km/h).