Scott Carpenter, second American in orbit, dies at 88
LOS ANGELES (AFP) - Scott Carpenter, who became the second US astronaut to orbit the Earth in 1962, as America battled with Moscow in the space race, died on Thursday in Colorado aged 88, his wife said.
Carpenter, whose death leaves John Glenn as the only surviving member of America's first Project Mercury space programme, had suffered a stroke and was in a Denver hospice when he died.
"He had that worldwide perspective of having seen the entire planet," she said, quoted by the the local Vail Daily newspaper.
Carpenter was chosen as one of seven Mercury astronauts in 1959 and was backup pilot for Glenn in preparation for America's first manned orbital space flight in February 1962, according to his NASA biography.