Behind the Scenes: Inside Astronaut Scott Carpenter's 1962 Mercury Flight (Photos)

After the Test


Following water egress training, Project Mercury astronaut Scott Carpenter, Mercury-Atlas 7 prime pilot, still dons his Mercury pressure suit and a life vest.

Aurora 7


On May 24, 1962, astronaut Scott Carpenter examines the Aurora 7, his Mercury-Atlas 7 spacecraft, before boarding and beginning the launch.

Say Cheese


During a May 22, 1962 suiting exercise, astronaut Scott Carpenter, Mercury-Atlas 7 prime pilot, stands in the Hangar S crew quarters as technician Al Rochford adjusts his suit.

Heading into History


Outside the White Room, astronaut Scott Carpenter heads to the launch site for the Mercury-Atlas 7 mission.

Loading Up


Before the launch of the Mercury-Atlas 7 mission, astronaut Scott Carpenter enters the Aurora 7 spacecraft with the help of NASA technicians.

Firing the Engines


From Launch Pad 14 at Cape Canaveral in Florida, astronaut Scott Carpenter rides in the Mercury-Atlas 7 space vehicle as NASA's second manned orbital mission launches into orbit.

Clouds at Home


Astronaut Scott Carpenter snapped this image of Earth using a handheld camera during the Mercury-Atlas 7 mission.

Clouds and the Horizon


On May 24, 1962, during the Mercury-Atlas 7 mission, astronaut Scott Carpenter captured this photo of Earth with a handheld camera.

Water, Land and Clouds


As astronaut Scott Carpenter orbited Earth on May 24, 1962 during the Mercury-Atlas 7 mission, he photographed the Earth and sky.

Recovery Process


NASA's second manned orbital flight, Mercury-Atlas 7 splashed down on May 24, 1962, and astronaut M. Scott Carpenter, prime pilot for the mission, is helped into a life raft by a diver during recovery.

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Christine Lunsford
Producer and Contributing Writer

Christine Lunsford joined the team in 2010 as a freelance producer and later became a contributing writer, covering astrophotography images, astronomy photos and amazing space galleries and more. During her more than 10 years with, oversaw the site's monthly skywatching updates and produced overnight features and stories on the latest space discoveries. She enjoys learning about subjects of all kinds.