Ted Pedas “Science at Sea


[Scott at Big Sky] [Scott at Big Sky Eclipse Expedition]

Grand Aegean & Adriatic Cruises
Eclipse '99 - Black Sea Voyage to Darkness—Royal Olympic's Countess
Perseid Meteor Showers Cruises
Halley's Comet Cruises
Big Sky Eclipse '79 - Montana
African Eclipse '73 - Voyage to Darkness — P&O's Canberra
Eclipse '72 - Voyage to Darkness aboard Greek Line's Olympia
Panama Canal - Millennium Cruise to the Future
Voyages of Discovery - The Cradle of Civilization; The Ancient World
South America; Voyage to Lost Civilizations; Great Explorers & Delta Cruise
Maya Equinox Cruise - Sun Serpent Descending at Chichén Itzá
Africa Adventure and Voyage to Darkness 2002

[Photo Scott Carpenter]

Scott Carpenter, a dynamic pioneer of modern exploration, has the unique distinction of being the only human ever to penetrate both outer and inner space, thereby acquiring the dual title, astronaut/aquanaut.

He was born in Boulder, Colorado, on May 1, 1925, the son of Dr. M. Scott Carpenter and Mrs. (Florence Kelso Noxon) Carpenter. He attended the University of Colorado and received a Bachelor of Science degree in Aeronautical Engineering.

[Carpenter at 1080 Fifth Ave] Carpenter entered the U.S. Navy in 1949 and received flight training at Pensacola, Florida, and Corpus Christi, Texas. During the Korean War, he served in the Yellow Sea, South China Sea, and the Formosa Straits and later test flew a variety of naval aircraft, including multi-and single-engine jet and propeller-driven fighters, attack planes, patrol bombers, transports, and seaplanes.

He graduated from the Navy's test pilot school at Patuxent River, Maryland in 1954, and remained at the school's test center until 1957. From 1957 to 1958 he attended the Navy General Line School and the Navy Air Intelligence School and was assigned as Air Intelligence Officer to the Aircraft Carriet U.S.S. Hornet. He was about to leave for a tour on the Hornet (the recovery ship for numerous space missions, including Apollo 11), when he was chosen as one of the Mercury 7, the original group of astronauts selected in 1959.

A distinguished record as a pilot in the Navy gave Carpenter the opportunity to be chosen as one of the first United States space explorers - one of the seven pioneers of America's quest to open a new frontier. In his inimitable frank and candid manner, Carpenter told the American public in 1959 that “I volunteered for this project for a lot of reasons. One of them, quite frankly, is immortality. This is something I would willingly give my life for and I think a person is very fortunate to have something he can care that much about.”

As one of the original seven astronauts, Carpenter underwent intensive training with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, specializing in the fields of communication and navigation. He served as backup pilot for John Glenn during the preparation for America's first manned orbital flight. Carpenter flew the second American manned orbital flight on May 24, 1962. He piloted his Aurora 7 spacecraft through three revolutions of the Earth, reaching a maximum altitude of 164 miles. His flight provided valuable data that led to many improvements in the Mercury spacecraft

The Aurora 7's mission was to duplicate Glenn's successful three-orbit flight and prove that astronauts could work in space. The flight did not end as planned; out of maneuvering fuel, Carpenter flew the spacecraft back into the Earth's atmosphere manually. Because the retro-rockets fired a few seconds late, he splashed down several hundred miles downrange of the prime recovery zone and was out of contact with Mission Control for approximately 40 minutes.

While on leave of absence from NASA in 1965, Carpenter participated in the Navy's Man-in-the-Sea Program as an aquanaut in the SEALAB II experiment. During the experiment Carpenter spent 30 days living and working at a depth of 205 feet. He was team leader for two of the three teams of Naval and civilian participants who lived on the ocean floor off the coast of La Jolla, Ca.

Carpenter returned to duties with NASA and was active in the design of the Apollo Lunar Landing Module. In 1967 he returned to the Navy's Deep Submergence Systems Project as Assistant for Aquanaut Operations during the SEALAB III experiment.

Since retiring from the Navy in 1969, Carpenter has been actively applying his knowledge of ocean engineering to programs aimed at enhanced utilization of ocean resources and improved health of the oceans. He worked closely with the late French oceanographer Jacques Cousteau and members of his Calypso team. Carpenter has dived in most of the world's oceans, including under ice in the Arctic.

As a consultant to sports and professional diving equipment manufacturers, he has contributed to design improvements in diving watches, underwater breathing equipment, swimmer propulsion units, small submersibles, and other underwater equipment.

Additional projects brought to fruition by Carpenter's innovative guidance have involved biological pest control and the production of energy from agricultural and industrial waste. He has been instrumental in the design of several types of waste handling and transfer equipment.

Carpenter continues to apply his expertise in aerospace and ocean engineering as a consultant to industry and the private sector. He lectures frequently in the U.S. and abroad on the history and future of ocean and space technology, the impact of scientific and technological advance on human affairs, space age perspectives, and humankind's continuing search for excellence.

Carpenter has what writer Tom Wolfe calls the "right stuff." Carpenter also has shown us he has the "write stuff" in his recent novel, The Steel Albatross. Carpenter draws upon his aeronautical and aqua-nautical expertise to combine technology, non-stop action and vivid characters in this entertaining underwater thriller.

Today, Carpenter enjoys an active retirement, writing science fiction from his home in Vail, Colorado, making public appearances, and serving as an environmental consultant. In September 1995, he spoke to the space shuttle Endeavour from an underwater laboratory off the Florida Keys.

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E-mail:   Ted Pedas — mpedas@ix.netcom.com