So sad. Astronaut Scott Carpenter died at a Denver hospice on Oct. 10 — he was 88 years old. Scott was one of the two last surviving astronaut’s from America’s first space program, Project Mercury. The revolutionary space explorer’s death has left NASA and space fans reeling.
American icon Scott Carpenter has died at 88. The former astronaut suffered a devastating stroke in September and had been dealing with health problems ever since, which finally led to his death on Oct. 10.
Scott Carpenter Dead After Suffering Health Complications
Scott’s wife, Patty, confirmed that her husband of 14 years died in a Denver hospice on Oct. 10, according to CNN. The 88-year-old had a stroke last month, which led to numerous health issues. He had been in hospice care since the incident, but efforts to nurture him back to full health proved to be unsuccessful. No exact cause was for the death given.
Scott leaves behind an impressive resume — he was the second American to orbit Earth.
And he was one of the last two living Project Mercury astronauts — America’s first space program. John H. Glenn, Jr., 92, is now the last surviving member. John was the first American to orbit the Earth, followed by Scott’s 1962 flight that left Americans on edge.
Scott Carpenter’s Nerve-Racking Voyage
Scott is known for his rebel antics that almost cost him his life during his 1962 space voyage — a voyage that would catapult him into NASA infamy.
In just five hours, Scott orbited Earth three times. Upon his return, Scott was 250 nautical miles from his landing spot. The shuttle landed in the Caribbean — leaving many to speculate that Scott had died. The space vessel had not suffered any damage, but NASA officials feared for his safety. Scott then resurfaced in Puerto Rico, unscathed, having successfully completed the flight.
NASA officials blamed Scott for not checking equipment before setting off. Scott had left two control systems running during the entire flight — causing fuel to run low. He also refused to follow any instructions during the flight even firing the shuttle’s rockets earlier than planned. Flight Director Christopher Krafter, who was on task during the flight, vowed to never have Scott fly again — and he didn’t.
Scott then documented his account of the flight in We Seven, where he said, “Pioneering in space was something I would willingly give my life for.” He claimed he was “too busy” during the flight to listen mission commands — and the possibility of death didn’t scare him.
Though his mistakes would stop him from ever flying again, Scott continued to pursue his love for exploration. The astronaut dabbled in oceanography working along side Jacques Cousteau in underwater research. After Jacques’ death in 1997, Scott returned to astronomy, giving scholarships to aspiring astronauts.
Scott is survived by wife Patty, sons Zachary, Jay Matthew, Nicholas and daughters Candace and Kristen.
He will be missed. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends
WATCH: Pioneering Astronaut Scott Carpenter Dead at 88
— Danielle Noriega