INSIDE BINGHAMTON UNIVERSITY
Astronaut to speak at Harpur Forum annual dinner
Selected as one of the original seven Mercury astronauts in 1959, Carpenter served as backup pilot for John Glenn on America’s first manned orbital space flight and flew the Mercury spacecraft Aurora 7 on America’s second manned orbital flight and the first space science mission ever. He was also actively involved in the design of the Apollo Lunar Landing Module and a proponent for the use of underwater environments in space flight training.
In the mid-1960s, Carpenter joined the Navy’s Sealab program and led efforts to transfer space technology into ocean research. He participated as a team leader on the Navy’s Sealab II and III projects, which included living and working on the ocean floor for 30 days as well as developing deep-ocean research, rescue and salvage capabilities.
With the unique distinction of being the first person to penetrate both inner and outer space as an astronaut and an aquanaut, Carpenter has worked closely with French oceanographer Jacques-Yves Cousteau and members of the Calypso team. He has participated in undersea expeditions in most of the world’s oceans and remains an active supporter of undersea exploration programs.
Carpenter continues to apply his knowledge of aerospace and ocean engineering as a consultant to industry and the private sector. He has penned two books: the underwater techno-thriller novel The Steel Albatross and a sequel, Deep Flight.