May 1, 1925 – American astronaut Scott Carpenter is born
Malcolm Scott Carpenter, one of the original seven astronauts selected by NASA in the early 1960s, was born on May 1st, 1925. He flew aboard the Aurora 7 spacecraft on May 24, 1962.
“Working through five onboard experiments, Carpenter helped among other things to identify the mysterious ‘fire fly’ particles of frozen liquid around the craft, first observed by John Glenn. Carpenter was the first American astronaut to eat solid food in space.”
“I am frequently asked if I was afraid [regarding being launched into space]. Yes, I was afraid. But fear is neither shameful nor to be feared, it is to be respected; it does a lot of good things for you when things get dirty. It improves your vision, extends you peripheral vision, reduces reaction time, makes you stronger, and improves your endurance. It is a very valuable companion. What people, I think, are chary about here is that fear is the same as panic. But panic is uncontrolled fear – and that is deadly. But if you use fear, and control it, it can save your life. It can be a pistol!”
– Scott Carpenter, quoted in Into that Silent Sea (p. 154).