Malcolm Scott Carpenter (born May 1, 1925) was one of the original seven Mercury astronauts for Project Mercury, chosen in 1959 to lead America in its race to beat the Russians to the moon. He was the second American to orbit, and the fourth in space.
A pilot with the U.S. Navy, Carpenter flew into space on May 24, 1962, atop the Mercury-Atlas 7 rocket for a three-day mission. His Aurora 7 spacecraft attained a maximum altitude of 164 miles and an orbital velocity of 17,532 miles per hour. His primary goal during the three-orbit mission was to determine whether an astronaut could work in space, but a series of snafus hobbled the mission and Carpenter overshot his landing point by 250 miles. He was never chosen to fly in space again, and retired from the Navy in 1969.