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Second American in orbit dies at 88

Updated: 2013-10-11 10:14
( Xinhua)

Second American in orbit dies at 88

Former astronaut Scott Carpenter (C) shakes hands with former astronaut and US Sen. John Glenn (L) at a 40th anniversary celebration of the Apollo 11 mission and the walk on the moon while on Capitol Hill in Washington, in this file photo from July 21, 2009. [Photo/Agencies]

WASHINGTON - Scott Carpenter, the second American to orbit the Earth in 1962, died at age 88 on Thursday from complications following a stroke, US space agency NASA said.

"Today, the world mourns the passing of Scott Carpenter. As one of the original Mercury 7 astronauts, he was in the first vanguard of our space program," NASA Administrator Charles Bolden said in a statement.

"When he became the second American to orbit the Earth, he completed his mission despite challenging circumstances," Bolden said. "His accomplishments truly helped our nation progress in space from the earliest days to the world leadership we enjoy today. We will miss his passion, his talent and his lifelong commitment to exploration."

Carpenter was selected as one of the original seven Mercury Astronauts on April 9, 1959. He flew the second American manned orbital flight on May 24, 1962.

During a NASA oral history interview in 1999, Carpenter said his experience with zero-g was "more fun than I can tell you about, " astronomy website reported. "The zero-g sensation and the visual sensation of space flight are transcending experiences, and I wish everybody could have them," Carpenter added.

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