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  Mercury - Gemini - Apollo
  May 24, 1962: Remembering Mercury-Atlas 7

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Author Topic:   May 24, 1962: Remembering Mercury-Atlas 7
ColinBurgess
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Posts: 1653
From: Sydney, Australia
Registered: Sep 2003

posted 05-24-2010 07:12 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for ColinBurgess   Click Here to Email ColinBurgess     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
It's 24 May 2010 here in Australia, and I would just like to recognise and salute the 48th anniversary of Scott Carpenter's magnificent flight aboard Aurora 7 on this day back in 1962.

Back then I regarded Scott as a great and inspirational hero, and that feeling has never wavered in all the years that have followed. Our older son Scott was even named for him. I've had the great privilege of meeting Scott Carpenter several times over the years, and have never found him to be anything but gracious, pleasant and a true gentleman.

His website provides a wonderful tribute and insight into this great man, and I would urge you on this anniversary of his flight — if you have not already done so — to have a reflective look through Scott's website. He is a true spaceflight pioneer, and I salute him today from Down Under.

Rick Boos
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Posts: 846
From: Celina,Ohio U.S.A.
Registered: Feb 2000

posted 05-24-2010 11:53 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Rick Boos   Click Here to Email Rick Boos     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I agree Colin and well stated! It's hard to believe it's been that many years! Where has time gone? Godspeed Scott!

Dave Clow
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Posts: 229
From: South Pasadena, CA 91030
Registered: Nov 2003

posted 05-24-2010 12:10 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Dave Clow   Click Here to Email Dave Clow     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Bravo.

Rob Joyner
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Posts: 1306
From: GA, USA
Registered: Jan 2004

posted 05-24-2010 06:27 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Rob Joyner   Click Here to Email Rob Joyner     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
One man, one launch, one hero.

Happy anniversary to a true American legend. Thank you Mr. Carpenter.

Lou Chinal
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Posts: 1016
From: Staten Island, NY
Registered: Jun 2007

posted 05-24-2010 10:41 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Lou Chinal   Click Here to Email Lou Chinal     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
What a launch! I thought it happened last just last year.

Rusty B
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Posts: 239
From: Sacramento, CA
Registered: Oct 2004

posted 02-02-2011 09:52 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Rusty B   Click Here to Email Rusty B     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Here's a bit of sad info that I learned about the MA-7 mission while looking at the Google newspaper archive for info about the flight:
Plane Crash Mars Orbit Preparations

May 18, 1962 - 14 killed in Air Force Contingency Recovery plane crash. A C-130 involved in preparing emergency recovery operations for the Mercury-Atlas 7 Scott Carpenter orbital mission crashed in Africa.

capoetc
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Posts: 1758
From: Newnan GA (USA)
Registered: Aug 2005

posted 05-24-2011 07:37 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for capoetc   Click Here to Email capoetc     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Today is the 49th anniversary of Scott Carpenter's MA-7 mission.

Just one year until the 50th anniversary!

moorouge
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Posts: 1764
From: U.K.
Registered: Jul 2009

posted 05-24-2011 08:13 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for moorouge   Click Here to Email moorouge     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Memories of 49 years ago. I was teaching at the time and during the last lesson of the day the class were listening to the flight on VOA.

Come the going home bell nobody moved despite it being normal for the school to be devoid of pupils five minutes after the release signal. In fact, most of the class stayed until we were kicked out by the caretaker some 90 minutes later.

As I recall I listened to the actual recovery at cricket practice in the early evening on my short wave radio.

MarylandSpace
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Posts: 1044
From:
Registered: Aug 2002

posted 05-24-2011 11:59 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for MarylandSpace   Click Here to Email MarylandSpace     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I had a great ear-to-ear smile as I saw "Today in Space History."

I have had the honor to meet Scott Carptenter several times and each time was special.

Duke Of URL
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Posts: 1316
From: Syracuse, NY, USA
Registered: Jan 2005

posted 04-04-2012 08:45 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Duke Of URL   Click Here to Email Duke Of URL     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
In a few weeks we'll celebrate the 50th anniversary of the "Dynamic Pioneer" Scott Carpenter's flight.

He's taken some really unfair criticism with his usually gentlemanly forbearance.

One thing critics fail to mention is that by bringing down a flawed spacecraft — fatally flawed without Scott Carpenter at the controls — he might have saved the space program itself. An astronaut dying in flight would have set back American manned spaceflight for decades. We might have gone into 2000 with a program much like China does now.

His contribution to training astronauts underwater, standard to this day, merits thanks.

I don't know. I think these achievements rate Carpenter some serious gratitude. And the NASA medal for best abs in his astronaut group too.

Rusty B
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Posts: 239
From: Sacramento, CA
Registered: Oct 2004

posted 04-04-2012 04:29 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Rusty B   Click Here to Email Rusty B     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
In the MA-7 mission report, Scott Carpenter mentions that he has taken a series of pictures of the spent Atlas booster as it trailed his spacecraft early in the mission. I have never seen any of these pictures. Are they available anywhere?

From the Mercury Atlas 7 mission report "Results of the Second United States Manned Orbital Flight May 24, 1962" (available on the NASA NTRS website):
Pilot Performance (Page 65, "Sustainer Stage Tracking")

The pilot readily sighted the sustainer stage (spend Atlas booster) through the spacecraft window after completion of the spacecraft turnaround at a calculated distance of approximately 300 yards.

He continued to observe and photograph the sustainer for 8 1/2 minutes at which time the sustainer stage was calculated to be at a range of 3 miles behind and below the spacecraft...

Pilots Flight Report (Page 70):

Following the turnaround, I watched the expended launch vehicle through the window as it fell behind me, tumbling slowly. It was bright and easily visible. I could see what looked like little ice crystals emanating from the sustainer engine nozzle...

Appendix MA-7 Air-to ground communications (Page 78 and 79):

00 05 52 Pilot, "Okay, turnaround has stopped. I'm pitching down. I have the moon in the center of the window, and the booster off to the right slightly."

00 06 58 Pilot, "Roger. The control system on fly-by-wire is very good. I have the booster in the center of the window now, tumbling very slowly."

00 07 04.5 Pilot, "A steady stream of gas, white gas, out of the sustainer engine. Going to ASCS now."

00 09 54.5 Pilot, "Mark. One picture of the booster. Going to transmit and record now. 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 .......10, 11, 12 pictures of the booster, traveling right down the center of the booster, right down the center of the window."

0010 34 Pilot, "...The, let's see, where's the booster? There's some beautiful cloud patterns down there. The booster is in front of a large cloud pattern. I seem to be, I seem to be much closer to the earth than I expected to be. The booster is 2 miles away now."

00 11 40 Pilot, "I have some pictures of the booster, maybe 17 or 18, all together. Then going to the horizon, north sweeping south. There is the moon, just setting. Winding the camera at this time."

ColinBurgess
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Posts: 1653
From: Sydney, Australia
Registered: Sep 2003

posted 04-04-2012 05:55 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for ColinBurgess   Click Here to Email ColinBurgess     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
It will be an inestimable pleasure to see Scott at Spacefest IV within days of the 50th anniversary of his Mercury mission, to shake his hand and congratulate him on a magnificent accomplishment all those years ago.

328KF
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Posts: 898
From:
Registered: Apr 2008

posted 04-04-2012 10:57 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for 328KF   Click Here to Email 328KF     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Much data and history were lost by various means following MA-7, some due to the extended time Carpenter spent in the water waiting for pickup.

Among these, I have read that a camera that Scott had in his hand and his Breitling watch were badly damaged by seawater, and his Randall knife was lost during his recovery. I haven't seen too many photos from MA-7, so my assumption is that most of the frames were lost when the camera was swamped.

Anyone who has seen the fine Spacecraft Films DVD can see the dipping Carpenter took while on the winch, and the poor quality of cockpit film due to the entrance of salt water to the cabin. Scott took the backup exit path through the top of the spacecraft to keep an open side hatch from flooding and sinking Aurora 7.

Given that the two photographic devices were exposed to salt water, my assumption is that any pictures of the booster may well have been lost.

Rusty B
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Posts: 239
From: Sacramento, CA
Registered: Oct 2004

posted 04-05-2012 03:51 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Rusty B   Click Here to Email Rusty B     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
That makes sense. If you look at existing MA-7 photos taken from orbit, they all have spots on them. Must be from the water damage.

divemaster
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Posts: 1365
From: ridgefield, ct
Registered: May 2002

posted 04-15-2012 01:14 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for divemaster   Click Here to Email divemaster     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Having had the pleasure of being Scott's webmaster for the last few years, I really must admit that working with him behind the scenes has been nothing but a pleasure. He is an absolute gentleman.

I'm just sorry that I didn't keep all of the voice mails that he left me. Each and every one of them was a keeper.

He also pays very close attention to all of the feedback that I give him from e-mail that is generated through his site. He is very interested in what all of you have to say.

I have been a very lucky man to have worked with people like Scott and his fellow astronauts. I will have wonderful memories for the rest of my life.

bwhite1976
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Posts: 192
From: belleville, IL USA
Registered: Jun 2011

posted 05-23-2012 03:25 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for bwhite1976   Click Here to Email bwhite1976     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
For anyone interested, Scott Carpenter's Aurora 7 mission will be tweeted as it happened, tomorrow (May 24) at @LizMSuckow starting at 1:15 a.m. EDT.

I have been following her "live" mission updates and reports since she started doing this and it is pretty fun to follow. The last one she tweeted was Apollo 16 from pre-flight to splashdown and it was spectacular.

And to add... Aurora 7 is still the coolest sounding spacecraft name ever.

Headshot
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Posts: 321
From: Streamwood, IL USA
Registered: Feb 2012

posted 05-23-2012 04:53 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Headshot   Click Here to Email Headshot     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The Aurora 7 space capsule is on display at Chicago's Museum of Science and Industry. It is near the Apollo 8 Command Module and, as a result, does not get all that much attention from the public.

Having the opportunity, on several occasions, to study it at length, I find it absolutely amazing how SMALL that damn thing is. I am also struck by how brave these guys were, not only to get in it in the first place, but to spend any significant length of time inside it.

All seven Mercury astronauts were a breed that we are not likely to see again.

ColinBurgess
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Posts: 1653
From: Sydney, Australia
Registered: Sep 2003

posted 05-23-2012 06:36 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for ColinBurgess   Click Here to Email ColinBurgess     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The first time I saw Aurora 7 it was on display at the Hong Kong space museum, something like 30 or so years ago. It was sheathed in Plexiglass, but it surprised me that it was on display completely unguarded and anyone could walk right up to it and physically touch parts of the craft through holes drilled in the Plexiglass.

ea757grrl
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Posts: 599
From: South Carolina
Registered: Jul 2006

posted 05-24-2012 11:28 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for ea757grrl   Click Here to Email ea757grrl     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Happy anniversary to Aurora 7, a pioneering flight that's never truly had the celebration it deserves - and happy anniversary to the super-cool Commander Carpenter, who likewise hasn't received the appreciation he truly deserves for all he's done.

Duke Of URL
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Posts: 1316
From: Syracuse, NY, USA
Registered: Jan 2005

posted 05-24-2012 12:43 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Duke Of URL   Click Here to Email Duke Of URL     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I remember when 50 years seemed like forever. Now we're as far removed from that date as the administration of William Howard Taft was then. I can't believe it's been that long.

I'm glad Scott Carpenter is still here to remind us of when adventure was something to be sought instead of a risk to be avoided.

Here's to him.

(The pilot of Aurora isn't just a pioneer... he's a Dynamic Pioneer!)

Gilbert
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Posts: 1006
From: Carrollton, GA USA
Registered: Jan 2003

posted 05-24-2012 02:49 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Gilbert   Click Here to Email Gilbert     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Happy 50th anniversary Scott Carpenter. I recall the day vividly. Has anyone read Aurora 7, a novel that recounts the day in detail from several points of view. Excellent book.

Paul78zephyr
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Posts: 383
From: Hudson, MA
Registered: Jul 2005

posted 05-24-2012 03:36 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Paul78zephyr     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
What an 'uncommon' man. Thank you and God Bless you Scott Carpenter!

carmelo
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Posts: 833
From: Messina, Sicilia, Italia
Registered: Jun 2004

posted 05-24-2012 03:43 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for carmelo   Click Here to Email carmelo     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thank you Scott Carpenter!

mikepf
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Posts: 372
From: San Jose, California, USA
Registered: Mar 2002

posted 05-24-2012 07:37 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for mikepf   Click Here to Email mikepf     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Congratulations and best wishes to Scott Carpenter. Happy 50th Anniversary.

fredtrav
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Posts: 1096
From: Birmingham AL USA
Registered: Aug 2010

posted 05-24-2012 08:19 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for fredtrav   Click Here to Email fredtrav     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Happy 50th. What a great accomplishment 50 years ago.

divemaster
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Posts: 1365
From: ridgefield, ct
Registered: May 2002

posted 06-23-2012 09:20 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for divemaster   Click Here to Email divemaster     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
After a bit of work, I was able to get Monique McCall to send me an mp3 file of the country/western song that she co-wrote with Scott Carpenter about his time in space and his time on Sealab.

I was able to put this scottcarpenter.com along with a montage/slide show of the private 50th anniversary party at The Players Club in New York City.

So, if you'd like to attend part of the party and hear some of the words that Scott wrote about being in space and under the sea, please visit his website. I also put a video on his multimedia page of Monique singing the same song to Scott on another occasion. So, you get a "two-fer" today on Scott's website.

I would like to thank Monique McCall for letting me use the song on the website and to the many photographers who donated photos of the event at The Player's Club. Please let me know if I left anyone obvious out of the credits list. You might sneak a peek of a few people from cS and who walked on the moon.

ColinBurgess
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Posts: 1653
From: Sydney, Australia
Registered: Sep 2003

posted 05-23-2014 10:22 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for ColinBurgess   Click Here to Email ColinBurgess     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
It's incredibly sad to realise that this will be the first anniversary of the flight of "Aurora 7" in which we don't have Scott Carpenter with us to celebrate the occasion.

It's been 52 years since that momentous day of 24 May 1962, but I still remember it with great clarity as the first manned space mission I followed right from the outset, with a wonderful man I have always greatly admired.

MCroft04
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Posts: 1282
From: Smithfield, Me, USA
Registered: Mar 2005

posted 05-23-2014 10:22 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for MCroft04   Click Here to Email MCroft04     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I clearly remember the launch and then being glued to the TV while Scott was missing. I never dreamed that I would get to meet this great man, but I did.

I agree, it's hard to accept he is no longer here on earth with us.

ejectr
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Posts: 1529
From: Brimfield, MA
Registered: Mar 2002

posted 05-24-2014 01:53 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for ejectr   Click Here to Email ejectr     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Today I am 65. I remember talking my mother into letting me stay home from school to watch it. Scott Carpenter was the second one to sign my pilot's log book and bigger than anyone else. John Glenn was the first because I saw him first. I showed him my driver's license so he could see I turned 13 on the day of his flight. His reply..."You really know how to hurt a guy". Got a lot of laughs from everyone there. Great guy.

moorouge
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Posts: 1764
From: U.K.
Registered: Jul 2009

posted 05-25-2014 01:36 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for moorouge   Click Here to Email moorouge     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by MCroft04:
I clearly remember the launch and then being glued to the TV while Scott was missing.

Just to correct a minor point. Carpenter was only 'missing' as far as the media were concerned at the time. Mission Control knew exactly where he was. He acknowledged a report from the control centre that he was 200 miles long about a minute before splash-down and a recovery aircraft had radar contact a minute before this. Forty minutes later visual contact was made and Carpenter was seen sitting in the life-raft beside Aurora 7.

All times are CT (US)

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