Scott Carpenter, a University of Colorado Boulder alumnus and a famed NASA Mercury astronaut who became only the second American to orbit Earth, died Thursday. He was 88.
Carpenter, a Boulder native, entered CU-Boulder’s astronautical engineering program in 1945, eventually earning a bachelor of science degree. He orbited Earth three times on May 24, 1962, in NASA’s Aurora 7 capsule before splashing down in the Atlantic Ocean.
Carpenter was the first of 18 CU-Boulder astronaut affiliates to have flown in space. As one of the first NASA astronauts, Carpenter and his colleagues were celebrated in the Tom Wolfe book, “The Right Stuff,” which told the story of early military test pilots and the original Mercury 7 astronauts.