Scott Carpenter

Test Pilot + One of the Original Seven American Project Mercury Astronauts

Malcolm Scott Carpenter is an American test pilot, astronaut and aquanaut. He is best known as one of the original seven astronauts selected for NASA's Project Mercury in April 1959. Carpenter was the second American to orbit the Earth and the fourth American in space, following Alan Shepard, Gus Grissom and John Glenn. Carpenter and Glenn are the last living members of the Mercury Seven.… Read More

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News + Updates

Browse recent news and stories about Scott Carpenter.


Learn about the memorable moments in the evolution of Scott Carpenter.


1925 Birth Born May 1, 1925, in Boulder, Colorado, Carpenter moved to New York City with his parents Marion Scott Carpenter and Florence Kelso Carpenter (1900–1962) for the first two years of his life. … Read More
1927 2 Years Old In the summer of 1927, Scott returned to Boulder with his mother, then ill with tuberculosis.


1943 18 Years Old 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. … Read More


1945 - 1948 2 More Events
1949 24 Years Old On the eve of the Korean War, Carpenter was recruited by the United States Navy's Direct Procurement Program (DPP). He reported to Naval Air Station Pensacola, Florida in the fall of 1949 for pre-flight and primary flight training.
He earned his aviator wings on April 19, 1951, in Corpus Christi, Texas.
1954 29 Years Old Carpenter was then appointed to the U.S. Naval Test Pilot School, class 13, at NAS Patuxent River, Maryland in 1954.


1957 32 Years Old 1 More Event
He continued at Patuxent until 1957, working as a test pilot in the Electronics Test Division; in this assignment Carpenter conducted flight test projects in a variety of Navy airplanes, including multi- and single-engine jet aircraft and propeller-driven fighters, attack planes, patrol bombers and seaplanes. … Read More
1959 34 Years Old 1 More Event
…  He was one of the original seven astronauts selected for NASA's Project Mercury in April 1959. … Read More
1962 37 Years Old 1 More Event
He served as backup pilot for John Glenn, who flew the first U.S. orbital mission aboard Friendship 7 in February 1962. … Read More
1963 38 Years Old Carpenter never flew another mission in space. After taking a leave of absence from the astronaut corps in the fall of 1963 to train for and participate in the Navy's SEALAB program, Carpenter sustained a medically grounding injury to his left arm in a motorbike accident. … Read More
1964 39 Years Old In July 1964 in Bermuda, Carpenter sustained a grounding injury from a motorbike accident while on leave from NASA to train for the Navy's SEALAB project.


1965 40 Years Old In 1965, for SEALAB II, he spent 28 days living on the ocean floor off the coast of California. … Read More
1967 42 Years Old 1 More Event
He resigned from NASA in August 1967. … Read More
1968 43 Years Old By 1968, Carpenter and his wife had separated, with him living in California and Rene Carpenter having moved with their children to Washington, D.C. The Carpenters divorced in 1972.
1972 47 Years Old In 1972, Carpenter married his second wife Maria Roach, daughter of film producer Hal Roach. … Read More


1988 63 Years Old In 1988, Carpenter married his third wife, Barbara Curtin. … Read More
1999 74 Years Old In 1999, Carpenter married his fourth wife Patty Barrett, when he was 74. … Read More
In September 2013, Carpenter suffered a stroke and, after hospitalization, was admitted to the Denver Hospice Inpatient Care Center.
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