Carpenter, Malcolm Scott, CDR

 Service Photo   Service Details
83 kb
View Time Line
Last Rank
Last Primary NEC
131X-Unrestricted Line Officer - Pilot
Last Rating/NEC Group
Line Officer
Primary Unit
1967-1969, 131X, Deep Submergence Systems Project (DSSP)/SEALAB III
Service Years
1943 - 1969

 Last Photo   Personal Details 

44 kb

Home State
Year of Birth
This Military Service Page was created/owned by Nicole Summers, MMFN to remember Carpenter, Malcolm Scott, CDR USN(Ret).

If you knew or served with this Sailor and have additional information or photos to support this Page, please leave a message for the Page Administrator(s) HERE.
Contact Info
Home Town
Boulder, Colorado
Last Address
Denver, Colorado

Date of Passing
Oct 10, 2013
Location of Interment
Not Specified
Wall/Plot Coordinates
Not Specified

 Official Badges 

 Unofficial Badges 

 Additional Information
Last Known Activity

Scott Carpenter, the fourth U.S. astronaut to fly in space and the second to orbit the Earth, died Thursday at a Denver hospice.

Carpenter's wife, Patty, confirmed his death to Fox News. Carpenter, 88, of Vail, Colo., recently suffered a stroke.

Along with John Glenn, who flew three months before him, Carpenter was one of the last two surviving original Mercury 7 astronauts for the fledgling U.S. space program.

He was chosen in 1959 to be one of NASA's first astronauts and flew on his one and only space mission on May 24, 1962, circling the Earth three times while conducting scientific experiments.

As an astronaut and aquanaut who lived underwater for the U.S. Navy, Carpenter was the first man to explore both the depths of the ocean and the heights of space.

Carpenter gave the famous send-off -- "Godspeed, John Glenn" -- when Glenn became the first American in orbit in February 1962.

 Three months later, Carpenter orbited the Earth three times. He lost contact with NASA during the off-target landing but was found safely floating in his life raft 288 miles away.

 The fallout from that missed landing was a factor that kept NASA from launching Carpenter into space again. So he went from astronaut to "aquanaut" and lived at length on the sea floor -- the only man to ever formally explore the two frontiers.

 The launch into space was nerve-racking for the Navy pilot on the morning of May 24, 1962.

 "You're looking out at a totally black sky, seeing an altimeter reading of 90,000 feet and realize you are going straight up. And the thought crossed my mind: What am I doing?" Carpenter said 49 years later in a joint lecture with Glenn at the Smithsonian Institution. 

Other Comments:

NASA pioneer astronaut Scott Carpenter died Thursday at the age of 88 due to medical complications from a recent stroke, leaving John Glenn as the last living member of the Mercury 7.

Carpenter had been hospitalized after suffering a stroke last month at his home in Vail, Colo. Word of his death at a Denver hospice came from family friends and was confirmed by his wife, Patty Barrett.

NASA Administrator Charles Bolden paid tribute to Carpenter in a statement: "As one of the original Mercury 7 astronauts, he was in the first vanguard of our space program — the pioneers who set the tone for our nation's pioneering efforts beyond Earth and accomplished so much for our nation."

Second American in orbit
Carpenter was born on May 1, 1925, in Boulder, Colo., the son of research chemist M. Scott Carpenter and Florence Kelso Noxon Carpenter. He was commissioned in the U.S. Navy in 1949 and designated a naval aviator in 1951. Carpenter flew a variety of missions during the Korean War, became a test pilot and was selected as one of the Mercury 7 in 1959.

He had a special connection with John Glenn, a retired senator and astronaut who is still in good health at the age of 92. It was Carpenter who served as the backup for the Friendship 7 mission on Feb. 20, 1962, which made Glenn the first American in Earth orbit. And it was Carpenter who radioed, "Godspeed, John Glenn," from NASA's Cape Canaveral blockhouse as his colleague headed for history.

Carpenter became the second American in orbit on May 24, 1962, when he piloted his Aurora 7 capsule through three orbits. During that flight, he became the first American to eat solid food in space (in the form of energy snacks called "Space Food Sticks").

"When he went into orbit, instead of just worrying about being a test pilot, he was trying to analyze everything that was happening up there," said Jay Barbree, NBC News' Cape Canaveral correspondent. "That's why I call him the first scientist-astronaut."

One of Carpenter's discoveries pointed to the source of the mysterious "fireflies" that Glenn saw shining outside his window during the Friendship 7 flight. Carpenter thumped the side of his spacecraft and found that he could shake more of the sparkling specks loose from the capsule. "Scott discovered they were actually the moisture from the astronaut's body, which was released and dissipated outside into the cold," Barbree said.

Carpenter's splashdown generated some controversy because he overshot the designated landing zone, and it took 40 minutes for the recovery team to spot him in his life raft. Flight director Chris Kraft later complained that Carpenter used too much fuel during the flight, but Barbree said an investigation traced the fuel loss to equipment malfunction.

Aurora 7 was Carpenter's only spaceflight: He was removed from flight status after breaking his arm in a motorcycle accident in 1964, and left NASA in 1967.

Proud to be an aquanaut
In addition to his astronaut experience, the former naval aviator participated in the Navy's SeaLab underwater training program as an aquanaut. "He was just as proud of being an aquanaut as being an astronaut," Barbree recalled.

After his retirement from the Navy in 1969, Carpenter took on a number of business ventures and served as a movie consultant in the fields of spaceflight, oceanography and the environment. He wrote two novels as well as an autobiography, "For Spacious Skies: The Uncommon Journey of a Mercury Astronaut," which was co-written with his daughter Kris Carpenter Stoever.

When Glenn returned to orbit aboard the space shuttle Discovery in 1998, Carpenter said the space missions that he and his Mercury crewmates flew were part of a decades-long effort that would ultimately send humans to Mars and beyond. "All these flights will one day lead to manned exploration of other worlds outside our own solar system," Carpenter said in an essay written for NBC News. "That will not be soon. But it is inevitable."

He gave his most famous phrase a reprise for Glenn's launch: "Good luck, have a safe flight, and ... once again, Godspeed, John Glenn."

Carpenter is survived by his wife, Patty; six children, Jay, Kris, Candace, Matthew, Nicholas and Zachary; one granddaughter and five step-grandchildren. "We're going to miss him," Patty Barrett Carpenter told The Associated Press.



 Photo Album   (More...

 Ribbon Bar
Naval Astronaut Wings
Naval Aviator Wings

 Duty Stations
School Assignments - StaffUS NavyVP-6 Blue SharksNTPS - Navy Test Pilot School
NAS Patuxent River (NASPAX)Naval Postgraduate School (Faculty Staff)USS Hornet (CV-12)National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)
  1943-1945, 00-0000, V-12 Navy College Training Program
  1945-1949, 00-0000, Broken Service
  1949-1950, 139X, Navy Pre-Flight School
  1950-1951, 139X, Primary Flight Training, NAS Corpus Cristi, TX
  1951-1954, 131X, VP-6 Blue Sharks
  1954-1954, 131X, NTPS - Navy Test Pilot School
  1954-1957, NAS Patuxent River (NASPAX)
  1957-1958, 131X, Naval Postgraduate School (Faculty Staff)
  1958-1959, 131X, USS Hornet (CV-12)
  1959-1967, 131X, National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)
  1967-1969, 131X, Deep Submergence Systems Project (DSSP)/SEALAB III
 Combat and Non-Combat Operations
  1951-1953 Korean War
 Colleges Attended 
University of Colorado
  1945-1949, University of Colorado
Copyright Inc 2003-2011