DENVER, Colo. (WHNT) – Astronaut Scott Carpenter, the first human to ever penetrate both inner and outer space, has passed away at 88 years old, according to NASA officials.
“We, the whole NASA family, are mourning with Scott’s family. 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.”
CBS4 in Denver reported that Carpenter suffered a stroke in late September. He had been living in Hospice care since then.
Among his many accomplishments, Carpenter flew the second American manned orbital flight on May 24, 1962 aboard the Aurora 7 spacecraft. He completed three revolutions of the earth, reaching a maximum altitude of 164 miles. The Aurora 7 landed in the Atlantic Ocean about 1000 miles southeast of Cape Canaveral after 4 hours and 54 minutes of flight time, according to his NASA biography.
With Carpenter’s death, Glenn is the lone survivor of the Mercury Seven.
“He was one of the good guys and a good friend, a pioneer who made significant contributions to our country,” said Dick Gordon, command module pilot for Apollo 12.
The U.S. Space & Rocket center has his boot print from the Mercury-Atlas 7 in the Apollo courtyard.