Human Spaceflights

International Flight No. 4

Mercury 7

Aurora 7

USA

Launch, orbit and landing data

Launch date:  24.05.1962
Launch time:  12:45 UTC
Launch site:  Cape Canaveral
Launch pad:  LC-14
Altitude:  161 - 268 km
Inclination:  32.50°
Landing date:  24.05.1962
Landing time:  17:41 UTC
Landing site:  19° 29' N, 64° 5' W

walkout photo

hi res version (443 KB)

alternate photo

Crew

No.   Surname Given names Position Flight No. Duration Orbits
1  Carpenter  Malcolm Scott  Pilot 1 4h 56m 

Crew seating arrangement

1  Carpenter

Backup Crew

No.   Surname Given names Position
1  Schirra  Walter Marty, Jr. "Wally"  Pilot

hi res version (566 KB)

Flight

Launch from Cape Canaveral; landing 218 km southeast of Puerto Rico in the Atlantic Ocean.

This flight was a "repeat" of the Mercury 6 mission. Several scientific experiments were carried on in orbit. For example the behavior of fluids in microgravity conditions was observed, and terrestrial features and meteorological phenomena were photographed during the flight. An experiment designed to provide atmospheric drag and color visibility data in space through deployment of an inflatable sphere was partially successful. Cabin and pressure suit temperatures were high but not intolerable.

The landing occurred 400 km from the target point due to navigation problems caused by a failure in the spacecraft pitch horizon scanner, a component of the automatic control system. This anomaly was adequately compensated for by the pilot in subsequent in-flight operations so that the success of the mission was not compromised. These problems caused a delay in the operations timeline, and more fuel than expected was needed. Scott Carpenter was picked up by helicopters dispatched from the USS Intrepid, while the capsule was retrieved by the USS John R. Pierce about 6 hours later.

Photos / Drawings

Carpenter in training
 

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Last update on November 25, 2014.