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M. Scott Carpenter, the second astronaut to orbit the Earth back in 1962, has died at the age of 88.
Carpenter's wife, Patty, announced her husband's death, but did not give a cause, The New York Times reports. He had recently been relocated to hospice care after suffering a stroke.
Carpenter was one of two surviving members of Project Mercury and who's orbit around the Earth suffered glitches and forced him to land outside of the target location. John H. Glenn Jr. is now the last remaining member of the Mercury 7.
After his 1962 space mission, Carpenter wrote, "I volunteered for a number of reasons. One of these, quite frankly, was that I thought this was a chance for immortality. Pioneering in space was something I would willingly give my life for."
According to CBS News, Carpenter was also a Korean War veteran and a Navy test pilot. In 1959, he joined Project Mercury as one of seven of the first U.S. astronauts.
NASA Administrator Charles Bolden wrote in a statement, "His accomplishments truly helped our nation progress in space from the earliest days to the world leadership we enjoy today."
Carpenter also became the first astronaut to eat solid foods in space.
image: Wikimedia Commons