John Glenn pays tribute to late space pioneer: 'Godspeed, Scott Carpenter'

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By By Seth Borenstein

WASHINGTON — When John Glenn soared into space as the first American in orbit, Scott Carpenter wished him bon voyage with three simple words: "Godspeed, John Glenn." Glenn bid farewell to his lifelong pal who died Thursday in the same way.

"Godspeed, Scott Carpenter -- Great Friend," Glenn, the last remaining Mercury 7 astronaut, said in a statement issued by his spokesman on Friday. He added: "You are missed."

Carpenter died Thursday in a Denver hospice of complications from a September stroke. Carpenter, who lived in Vail, Colo., was 88.

In February 1962 Carpenter gave Glenn the historic sendoff, "Godspeed John Glenn." Carpenter followed Glenn, becoming the second American in orbit, launching on May 24, 1962.

Glenn said that history will remember Carpenter as an explorer of the heavens and the seas. 

Mercury astronauts John Glenn and Scott Carpenter share a story during a 2012 ceremony at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida, commemorating the 50th anniversary of Glenn's orbital flight.Michael Brown / AP file

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