March Militaria & Autograph Auction
(1925 – 2013) American naval officer and aviator, test pilot, aeronautical engineer, astronaut, and aquanaut. He was one of the Mercury Seven astronauts selected for NASA’s Project Mercury in April 1959. Carpenter was the second American to orbit the Earth and the fourth American in space. TLS on the official NASA letterhead, one page, reply to attention of ‘The Flight of Aurora 7: The Fourth Manned Mission of Project Mercury’, in part: ‘Despite difficulties that arose during the flight…the mission…had gone according to plan — until the third orbit…Due to a malfunction in the automatic controls which put the Mercury capsule into an incorrect re-entry altitude — coupled with excessive fuel consumption — Carpenter was forced to assume manual control of his craft…Carpenter’s descent would be…250 miles from the planned landing site…no further transmissions ensued from the capsule or from ground control for thrity-five anxiety-filled minutes…the rescue helicopter flew Carpenter back to the aircraft carrier Intrepid…’, signed in black ink in conclusion.