Nightly News   |  October 10, 2013

Scott Carpenter, Mercury Seven astronaut and American hero, dies at 88

Scott Carpenter, a former Naval Aviator and Korean War veteran, flew in the Aurora 7 capsule and orbited the Earth three times. Of the remaining Mercury Seven, now only John Glenn survives. NBC’s Brian Williams reports.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> scott carpenter died today. he was the second american to orbit the earth and the fourth american astronaut in space. he was 88 years old, a native of boulder, colorado, a genuine american hero who dated back to a time when we all looked up to seven very brave men. they made america so proud in the age of the possible. they were the mercury seven. shepard, grissom, cooper, slayton, glenn, schirra, and carpenter. while they were young men, many had skirted the heavens as test pilots and survived the hell of warfare. scott carpenter was a navy aviator, a veteran of the korean war , the only astronaut without a college degree . he was named john glenn 's backup. he had to wait his turn to get into space. but at the mic in mission control he got to utter those famous words to his friend before launch while the world listened in.

>> god speed , john glenn .

>> when it was his turn he flew in aurora 7. he orbited the earth three times. he was up there less than five hours. because of technical glitches he landed 250 miles from the intended target. as tv viewers stared at the black and white picture there were fears he hadn't survived splashdown until he was spotted almost an hour later sitting in his raft awaiting pickup. he never flew in space again though he loved exploration. he lived for a month on the bottom of the ocean floor in sea lab in the mid 60s. years later he was part of our on-air team at cape canaveral to cheer on john glenn who returned to space as a shuttle astronaut at 77.

>> we are joined by scott carpenter . what do you reckon is going on in there?

>> i wish i knew, but i don't.

>> of the original mercury seven, now only john glenn survives at the age of 92. the aircraft carrier that recovered scott carpenter 's space capsule on that day of late may of 1962 lives on as a floating museum in new york. the u.s.s. intrepid. still