Mercury Manned Flights
Lift off of the Mercury Atlas and Scott Carpenter on May 24, 1962
Mercury-Atlas 7 was the second American orbital Mercury program manned space mission, launched May 24, 1962. The Mercury spacecraft was named Aurora 7 and made three Earth orbits, piloted by astronaut Scott Carpenter. A targeting mishap during reentry took the spacecraft 250 miles (about 400 km) off course, delaying recovery of Carpenter and the craft.
The spacecraft overshot the intended target area by 250 nautical miles. After landing, Carpenter reported a severe list from vertical. An Air Rescue Service SA-16 amphibian aircraft established visual contact with the spacecraft 39 minutes after landing and the USS Farragut, located about 90 nautical miles southwest of the calculated landing position was first to reach the capsule. Carpenter was picked up by HSS-2 helicopters dispatched from the aircraft carrier USS Intrepid (CVS-11) while the destroyer USS Farragut (DLG-6) watched the Aurora 7 capsule until it could be retrieved with special equipment aboard the USS John R. Pierce about 6 hours later. A considerable amount of sea water was found in the spacecraft which was believed to have entered through the small pressure bulkhead when Carpenter passed through the recovery compartment into the life raft.