” Astronaut Scott Carpenter, the second American to orbit Earth, died Thursday, NASA said. He was 88.
“We have lost a true pioneer. I shall long remember him not only for his smarts and courage but his incredible humor. He kept us all grounded,” said NASA Administrator Charlie Bolden. “We will miss him greatly.” “
” Carpenter was one of the original Mercury 7 astronauts chosen by NASA, which said he died from complications after a stroke. He was a backup pilot for John Glenn ahead of America’s first manned orbital space flight in February 1962.
Carpenter flew the second American manned orbital flight in May of that year. Flight time was four hours and 54 minutes, according to a NASA biography.
With Carpenter’s death, Glenn is the lone survivor of the Mercury 7, which included Carpenter, Glenn, L. Gordon Cooper, Virgil “Gus” Grissom, Walter Schirra, Alan Shepard and Donald “Deke” Slayton.”