Sunday, February 28, 2016

Finding NEEMO: Revisiting Scott Carpenter and Sealab II, 1965

More than an astronaut, from May 22, 1962: "Astronaut M. Scott Carpenter, prime pilot for the Mercury-Atlas 7 (MA-7) flight, is seen in Hanger S crew quarters during a suiting exercise. He smiles at camera as suiting technician Al Rochford adjusts his suit." Photo Credit: NASA 
In my estimation, Mercury Seven astronaut Scott Carpenter has been the target of some rather unfair attacks from many people concerning his performance during his 1962 Aurora 7 orbital mission. That topic merits a whole separate blog post in itself, but to be blunt, Carpenter's own account is best told in his autobiography For Spacious Skies, co-written with editor and writer Kris Stoever (who is also the astronaut's daughter). Out of respect, I think I'll let the man – who left us in 2013 – tell that story himself. While that subject has been somewhat “controversial,” a couple of things cannot be disputed: Carpenter more than earned his place among the greats in spaceflight history, and deserves respect.