Catalogue


For spacious skies : the uncommon journey of a Mercury astronaut /
Scott Carpenter and Kris Stoever.
imprint
Orlando : Harcourt, c2002.
description
xiii, 370 p. : ill.
ISBN
0151004676
format(s)
Book
Holdings
More Details
added author
imprint
Orlando : Harcourt, c2002.
isbn
0151004676
general note
Includes index.
catalogue key
4762241
A Look Inside
About the Author
Author Affiliation
Scott Carpenter is one of the seven original "Right Stuff" astronauts. The fourth American in space and the second to orbit the Earth, Carpenter went on after Project Mercury to participate in the U.S. Navy's pioneering Man-in-the-Sea program (Sealabs I, II, and III) as an underwater explorer and researcher. He lives with his wife in New York City and in Vail, Colorado Kris Stoever was six years old on May 24, 1962, when her father rocketed into space. Since her graduation from Georgetown University with a degree in history, she has worked as an editor and writer. She lives with her husband and daughter in Denver
Excerpts
Flap Copy
On May 24, 1962, the tiny spacecraft Aurora 7 carried Scott Carpenter into space, American history, and a lifetime of controversy. For Spacious Skies offers this Mercury astronaut's never-before-told account of life at NASA. He takes us through the mysteries of the selection process, to the desert for survival training, into the simulator, and onto the contour couch. He describes, in stunning detail, the flight that made him the second American to orbit the Earth. During the early days of the space program, each mission helped to determine NASA's research progress, the efficiency of its design, and its status in the race to the moon; when Aurora 7 began to malfunction, everyone at hand frantically tried to detect the cause. What was ultimately found to be a glitch in Aurora 7's pitch horizon scanner forced the astronaut to overshoot his expected landing site by 250 miles and later brought all decisions made during the flight under intense scrutiny. Scott Carpenter, with his daughter, Kris Stoever, clears up all lingering questions about his flight while telling the history of an amazing frontier family and the strength of the American pioneer spirit.
Flap Copy
On May 24, 1962, the tiny spacecraftAurora 7carried Scott Carpenter into space, American history, and a lifetime of controversy.For Spacious Skiesoffers this Mercury astronaut's never-before-told account of life at NASA. He takes us through the mysteries of the selection process, to the desert for survival training, into the simulator, and onto the contour couch. He describes, in stunning detail, the flight that made him the second American to orbit the Earth. During the early days of the space program, each mission helped to determine NASA's research progress, the efficiency of its design, and its status in the race to the moon; whenAurora 7began to malfunction, everyone at hand frantically tried to detect the cause. What was ultimately found to be a glitch inAurora 7'spitch horizon scanner forced the astronaut to overshoot his expected landing site by 250 miles and later brought all decisions made during the flight under intense scrutiny. Scott Carpenter, with his daughter, Kris Stoever, clears up all lingering questions about his flight while telling the history of an amazing frontier family and the strength of the American pioneer spirit.
First Chapter
BUDDY

And so he would now study perfumes...wondering what there was in frankincense that made one mystical, and in ambergrise that stirred one's passions, and in violets that woke the memory of dead romances.

-OSCAR WILDE



ON A SUMMER DAY in 1927, Dr. M. Scott Carpenter stepped out of a New York taxicab onto the sidewalk outside Grand Central Station. Impatient with his mother's slower and more decorous exit, Carpenter's two-year-old son appeared next, an escape the boy achieved simply by hopping across his mother's lap to sunny freedom outside. "Train! Train!" he shouted, for he was embarking on a wildly anticipated train trip to Colorado.

After motioning to a porter, Carpenter turned to help his wife. The twenty-seven-year-old mother and wife was a pitiable sight. Dressed in a dark-green cotton suit that drooped on her frame, Toye had been unable, the day before, to pack her things and wash the dark and once extravagantly abundant hair that now lay flat and dull against her head. She pressed a handkerchief to her mouth, stopping to muffle a cough before resuming her march to the concourse, willing her every step to the departure gate.

Already worn out from excitement, Buddy looked up at his mother, raising his arms, throwing his head back in childhood's universal and irresistible pose of helplessness-"Up!" he added, in case there were any uncertainty. She only smiled as a paternal arm scooped the boy off his feet. From his perch in the crook of his father's arm, Buddy surveyed the extraordinary vista of New York faces-so much better than the bewildering sea of knees.

Carpenter was fond of explaining how his two-year-old represented an unbroken line of first-born sons going back a dozen generations to Plymouth Colony. The Plymouth Colony part is true enough, and twelve generations about right-if one counts back to William Carpenter, who in 1638 arrived in the New World with wife, Abigail, and sons one, two, and three. Several more sons and daughters would be born to the enterprising couple in Rehoboth, Massachusetts.

Carpenter's dynastic-sounding boast, however, about an unbroken primogenitural descent was sheer fancy (there were but seven firstborn sons). Besides which, the claim rather slights New England's daughters-the Elizabeths, Phoebes, Marys, Renews, and Sarahs, without whom there would be no children, nor generations of any number.

By the war of 1812, after defending New London from the British, a few intrepid Carpenters of generations seven and eight had ventured as far west as the Quinebaug River valley. There in northeastern Connecticut they found stony farmland to clear, to toil over, and to till. More work, more children, more mouths to feed, and more seasonal poverty, until something marvelous was built at Quinebaug Falls-a cotton mill and the beginnings of the industrial revolution. By the 1830s Smith Wilkinson, early patriarch of the American mills, had transplanted an English invention to power-generating waterfalls like the one on the Quinebaug. One of the first young men Wilkinson hired was Lucien Carpenter, mule spinner-representing highly skilled labor at the very apex of factory life. Having nothing to do with mules, mule spinning has everything to do with mass production of fabric, and is more difficult to describe than rocket science. Suffice it to say that the United States was never the same.

By the time of the Centennial (and the collapse of Reconstruction) in 1876, a pretty new state beckoned to the Carpenters. They felt right at home in Denver, for Colorado boasted more rocks than a Connecticut field. Producing yet another scion of Yankee manhood in 1901, Mr. and Mrs. Marion Ernest Carpenter christened their first child Marion Scott. By the age of twenty-seven, the Denver native and Manual High School graduate was beloved son, brother, husband, and father. He was also research chemist, bon vivant, and possessor of a recently concluded, two-year postdoctoral fellowship at Columbia University. His field was the relatively new one of synthetic fragrances. He would enjoy a brilliant career.

Carpenter chose his traveling clothes carefully for the return trip to Denver: tan cotton whipcord trousers, two brown-and-white tattersall-checked shirts with monogrammed pockets-MSC-hand-sewn by his wife, Florence, whom everyone called Toye. They were certainly handsome enough to display, he thought, if he needed to remove his lightweight wool jacket on a warm rail car. Despite the rigors of a long train trip with a robust two-year-old and an ailing wife, Carpenter felt sure he could make a presentable entrance into that apogee of the civilized world, the dining car.

HE WALKED SLOWLY and importantly through the train terminal with his small son, pointing out the architectural features of this glorious New York landmark. Pointing to a group of statues, the father asked Buddy whether he knew about the gods represented there. But back on his feet, Buddy simply yelled, "Train! Train! Train!" and ran to catch up with the porter. Toye, in the early stages of tuberculosis, had meanwhile already begun to flag. Carpenter was conscious of appearances, and in a lapse of affection saw his wife as a stranger might. Perhaps after a summer in Boulder, resting, she would recover her looks.

That year, while he was completing the second year of his postdoctoral fellowship at Columbia, Toye had become increasingly bedridden, unable even to care for their boy. She could not lift him. She could not clean or cook. A recurring fever, then a cough, and in time drenching night sweats sent the couple to St. Luke's Hospital. An X-ray of her lungs told the story. "You see that spot?" the specialist asked her. "That's a bit of tuberculosis." Not to worry overmuch, he assured them. She was only in the early stages, he added, but cautioned: "If you want to live, you must leave New York." Toye wanted to live.

The doctor brightened upon learning the couple hailed from Colorado and quickly recited the catechism for "Lungers"-bed rest and more bed rest, sunshine, dry mountain air, and a diet rich in eggs and cream. She was young and strong, he added, and given the right treatment would soon be back on her feet. He did not lay out the more torturous elements of the T.B. regime: surgical interventions that collapsed affected sections of the lung, excised ribs, and stripped out the brachial nerves that controlled the diaphragm. This was 1927. Antibiotic cures for the infectious disease were a generation off. For now, cures belonged to the realms of magic and luck.

FLORENCE NOXON CARPENTER was not only ill, she was also madly, romantically in love with this handsome man, her husband. Seven years ago he had stood on the steps of the Engineering Building on the Boulder campus of the University of Colorado as she approached, mindful of his appraising male gaze. The nineteen-year-old was hard to ignore, with his lordly bearing, his red mustache, and intense blue eyes. "And where might you be going?" he demanded, in an impudent gambit that perfectly suited Toye. "Certainly not into your building," came her cheeky reply that perfectly suited Carpenter. The girl could not be flustered. Thus began their campus romance.

They studied together, had lunch together, and from September through June strolled each night together in Chautauqua Park. He called for her at eight o'clock at her parents' home at Seventh Street and Aurora Avenue. When separated by summer vacations and the impossible distance then dividing her Boulder from his Denver, they wrote nightly. By the time they became seniors, Carpenter had pinned her; some rumored they were secretly engaged.

His early, passionate letters to her survived only long enough for Toye's single, hand-to-throat scan. A quick trip to the coal furnace in the basement of her parents' house converted words and paper to ashes. Her letters to Carpenter survive still, revealing a cool, breezy style that captivated their recipient.

After eighty years, Toye's sturdy, off-white stationery has yellowed slightly, the ink faded slightly, but the girl's sentences still leap off the page. Her early letters were "about nothing," the lovers agreed with approval. In time, though, and with motherhood, her insouciance would give way to life-and-death matters. Leadership, service, scholarship-Toye had been elected to the Mortar Board, the honorary society for female undergraduates. She would need these qualities and more. From the birth of their son into the decades that followed, she would of necessity become the consummate advocate-her reasoning relentless, her entreaties implacable, her cause just. When not explaining, Toye would report, correct, soothe, calm, console, cajole, intervene, and most of all plead tirelessly on behalf of the child she and her husband produced in 1925 rather by surprise.

WHILE THE SMALL FAMILY made its way through the crowds at Grand Central, their respective parents were making final preparations to receive them in Colorado. Although told of Toye's diagnosis, neither family knew what permanent domestic arrangements the couple had in mind. Was Carpenter staying? Returning to New York? The young couple hadn't said. The parents hadn't asked.

But Carpenter's father, Marion, guessed the worst and was right: "You mean to tell me," he said to his wife, Ruby, "that he's going to leave them in Boulder?" The matter was on everyone's mind and it sorely vexed the senior Carpenter-a quiet, silver-haired land-title man. His elder son was a mystery-still in school and still, he suspected, supported by Ruby with money from the cookie jar. "He dresses like the Prince of Wales, for god's sake," he said to her, "and neither of 'em's earned a dime."

He did not often disparage their son in this way, for when he snapped, his wife snapped back. This time, though, Ruby Frye Carpenter held her tongue, and her secret. Over a four-year period, yes, she had indeed supported her elder son with cash from her household account, loans she justified by believing he would prove a success. She felt certain her confidence would be rewarded-and more.

So the Carpenters put their best face on, resolved to meet the family of three at the Denver train station and motor them to Boulder.

THIRTY MILES AWAY, in Boulder, Toye's parents were busy in their large brick house at the corner of Aurora Avenue and Seventh Street, just beyond city limits. Vic Noxon, publisher of the Boulder County Miner & Farmer, was supervising the renovation of the front balcony on the second floor. It would become a screened-in sleeping porch, suitable for a convalescent. Here also his wife, the resourceful Clara, was hard at work. Although battling a thyroid condition and other ailments of advancing age, she was painting and papering an adjacent storage room to serve as her grandson's room. Where her son-in-law would stay, Clara, sixty-three years old, did not know. She, too, guessed the worst.

Before producing their nine children in the early Colorado gold town of Idaho Springs-she added "seven living," in that elliptical way mothers have-Clara Rose Batchelder had delivered the U.S. mail on horseback, eagerly applying for the Clear Creek County job after the regular mailmen, tired of being held up at gunpoint, balked at riding the mountainous route. Later, the mother slyly explained to her brood that she felt safe because she knew trail robbers drew the line at pulling a gun on a lady.

Clara was no lady but a Canadian farm girl with little schooling. For twenty years in Boulder she had sustained a thriving milk-and-egg operation with a variety of fowl, a herd of Holsteins, a rhubarb patch, fruit trees, and berry bushes. She, and later her daughters, milked the cows, gathered the eggs, put up fruit, made the pies, and delivered
the same to half the families on "the Hill," the neighborhood above the university. With the proceeds, she sent five daughters to be educated at C.U., as Coloradans call their university. There they each pledged Alpha Chi Omega, the top sorority on campus, and there each daughter received an undergraduate degree.

Viewed through Clara's prism of unstinting labor, Carpenter, her fourth daughter's suitor, was no mystery-and no prize either. She was all too aware that her brilliant girl, with her own academic and musical talents, had made this eternal student his clothes, bought (and brought) him food, lent him money. He never seemed to have a job. He pinned her. Over the summers, separated, they wrote a torrent of letters. There was talk, talk, talk of getting engaged, and a marriage, and a honeymoon. Carpenter sulked. Toye ran upstairs to cry in her room. She blushed when his letters arrived, read them in private, and consigned them to the basement furnace within an hour of receipt.

These letters were no mystery either, their central aim, as far as Clara could tell, being "a roll in the snow." As they continued pouring into the house, as profuse with ardor as her summer fruit, Clara began presenting them on a platter, garnished with her raspberries. "The Swede wrote you again," she drily announced.

Try as he might, Carpenter had not charmed Clara Noxon. The doyennes of Colorado Springs might cluck over his social graces, on display for them during the summer social season, but the Boulder mother had long since placed him in the trail-robber category. "He's nervous around the animals, if you really want to know," she explained to her husband, Vic, who did not reply.

So in the summer of 1924, a year away from his doctorate, when Carpenter found lodging three short blocks from the Noxon home, Clara arranged for Toye to spend the summer traveling. An edifying train trip east-to Massachusetts and New York-with a chaperone was just the ticket. The mother also arranged long visits on the way there and back with Toye's two sensibly married sisters, Ella in Des Moines and Frances in Deadwood, South Dakota.

Still the lovers wrote what lovers always do: I miss you, I long for you, I am desolate...I loathe you for leaving me-angry letters culminating in Toye's dismissive "Good-bye!" penned in Des Moines. Still, a persistent Carpenter was at Denver's Union Station in August 1924, waiting for the tears and fateful embraces of reunion.

THAT YEAR, CARPENTER was on to something important in the chemistry laboratories of C.U. What was the connection between odor and chemical constitution? What were the secret chemical signatures of menthol, jasmine, and ambergris? Of lavender, rose, and musk? Could these be rendered synthetically? The research was more than an intellectual challenge, for the answers had untold commercial applications. In the sixteenth century, only queens could afford perfumes as precious as ambergris-Elizabeth I scented her gloves with it. But thanks to Carpenter, modern American housewives could spritz their décolletage with the rare if ersatz scent.

As it happens, the United States was poised on the brink of a consumer revolution, with women still struggling with their kitchen-made beauty aids. Hoping for soft hands, they mixed glycerine with rose water; half a lemon held brown spots at bay. Help was on the way, however: in 1925, two days before his secret wedding, on Valentine's Day, to Toye, Carpenter submitted his doctoral thesis, entitled "Condensation Products of Diethyl Ketone," to the National Research Council in New York City. It was the culmination of years of research under the guidance of Professor John B. Eckeley, head of the chemistry department at C.U., and, after Ruby and Toye, his chief booster. The submission was promptly read "with great interest" by the head of
the Council's chemical research committee, Columbia's own Marston Taylor Bogert, who wrote immediately: "Your work bears indirectly upon research with which we ourselves have been occupied." He invited Carpenter to apply for the Fritzsche Fellowship, at Columbia University, where he himself headed the chemistry department. "It will be a great pleasure to welcome you and assist you in your attack on this topic."

Amidst the hand-shaking and felicitations, Carpenter and Eckeley laughingly considered a waltz among the test tubes. The letter was read aloud at the Noxon dinner table and sent on by mail to the Denver Carpenters, where Ruby read it to her husband. Puzzled, Marion asked, "So, this is a job?"

Well, no-not exactly employment. But it did provide $1,500 for the 1925-26 academic year. It was also a ticket to the excitement of New York and the lucrative world of industrial research. On April 29, Dr. Bogert confirmed Carpenter's postdoctoral fellowship. Two days later Toye produced their son, Malcolm Scott Carpenter. The happy event took place on May 1, 1925-which is to say, precisely nine months after their reunion at Denver's aptly named Union Station. Toye's involuntary railway sojourn in the summer of 1924 had succeeded in separating the lovers for a season. But all journeys end, and this one concluded, too, with tears giving way to joy, then yearning, and finally consummation, with Toye's chaperone nowhere in sight. In the aftermath, with five Noxon sisters counting on their fingers, acerbic Alice, age twenty, observed only, "He might have waited until they reached the car."

LARGE AND COHESIVE FAMILIES, like the Boulder Noxons, have their own subcultural tics, social norms, face-saving gambits, and survival tactics. Which is to say, they lie. And five sisters lying in sororal unison make a new truth, transcending deceit and designed with a clement goal: to protect a wee one to come and the reputations of the grown-ups responsible. The ruse extended to forgery, apparently, for someone supervised the production of an elaborate four-color, gilt-edged, signed church certificate attesting to a June 1924 wedding-held, it claimed, at St. Mark's Church, Denver-between Florence Kelso Noxon and Marion Scott Carpenter. The likeliest culprit and mastermind is Toye's older sister, Frances Noxon Norman, then a newly married twenty-six-year-old schoolteacher in Deadwood.

Finally, his doctorate in hand and a postdoctoral fellowship before him, the new husband and father was off to New York, alone, in July 1925 to claim the first part of his prize-freedom. "New York extends a clenched fist to newcomers," his friend Hal Borland warned him, "but one of our family will meet you at the train station!" Floored by his friend's raft of news, Borland recalled sitting "in a stripped Flivver" the last time he'd seen his fraternity brother. "You in a broad-brimmed hat and behind a red mustache."

The Borlands took Carpenter sightseeing the day after his arrival. The twenty-five-year-old was besotted with the city, besotted with the freedom from his father's disapproving rumblings and the barely suppressed antagonism of his mother-in-law, in whose home he had been forced to encamp during the "awkwardness," when Toye was pregnant. He was free, too, to liberate his wife, when she and the baby arrived, from her provincial ways and surround her with smart, conversant, and above all modern people. All of it promised a Real Life.

Borland already had a plan: "We want to go West. You could lease this apartment, convenient to Columbia, furnished with our stuff...two rooms, kitchenette, and bath." The apartment on Sherman Street, in the Inwood section of New York, was a godsend. Carpenter whetted Toye's appetite with a preview of their digs: "Hal and Helen have left everything they could not get into three suitcases and a small trunk...A beautiful bedroom set, a complete baby layout...silver, dishes, to say nothing of hundreds of books and a full larder!"

His excellent adventures continued in Greenwich Village ("called 'the Village,'" he explained to his parents), which just that year Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart were celebrating in their first hit musical, Manhattan. Then he ratcheted up the travelogue another notch of sophistication. He was "very much disappointed by 'the Village'...but, of course, in New York it is difficult to judge by exterior appearances....The gayest, liveliest, most lavish places are reached by side or alley entrances and...in the Village a man and woman can live together and no questions asked."

Prohibition was no impediment to good times, as he and a companion found an Italian restaurant with a wine list where one was admitted "only upon recognizance...and the best wines are served in cold-blooded English-no secret signs or passwords necessary." He described the entire meal in a letter to his parents, adding, "We had an excellent sherry and upon leaving I was given a card of admission."

Ruby had been reading the letter aloud to her husband on the side porch in Denver. At this last remark, Marion snorted, "I hope his money lasts 'til Christmas."

Modern! What an intoxicating ring the word possessed for Carpenter. Better than Boulder's high-minded, fusty old progressive, it was redolent with a permissive, droll, cold-martini charm. Modern couples, especially modern New Yorkers, he imagined, never stooped to the Victorian hypocrisies. None of the old daytime pieties (and nighttime debaucheries) favored by their parents' generation. Modern meant none, in fact, of the old pieties at all. In a modern marriage, Carpenter finally imagined in a kind of swoon, nothing was wrong, really. Modern meant candor, brutal honesty, and acceptance. Above all, it meant being free.

The arrival of wife and child brought reality and change. Toye took over the budget while her husband repaired in obsessive fashion to the laboratory, his immersion in his work total. At dinnertime, still in his lab at Havemeyer Hall, he tapped out a letter to his mother, admitting that "putting work away is one of the hardest things" for him to do.

The grandmothers begged for news of the baby, the first grandchild for both families. Toye obliged in a letter to Ruby, her mother-in-law: "Buddy is getting his first tooth," and his daily schedule had expanded to two daily outings, "10 to 11:30 and 2 to 3." Carpenter noticed his "son and heir possesses keen eyesight....He will spy a piece of lint and in preference to any of his playthings travel to it....To date his expeditions have netted him one hook-and-eye and several threads." The infant's 20-10 vision would later equip him for a career in aviation. For Toye, in the meantime, it meant a career in keeping the floors with meticulous care.

Here in this apartment, for two years, was the whole of their family life. They entertained, took weekly walks to the Hudson River, watched their child grow. A New Year's Eve letter home seems to sum up their joy: "I have never seen such a crowd as there was at Times Square at Midnight," Carpenter wrote. "We were in the thick of it and for once it seemed glorious. We were fully 15 minutes passing the Astor Hotel. The din was terrific...everyone carried horns or rattlers. I shall never forget the sights and sounds."

That spring, Carpenter attended a game at Yankee Stadium. It was April 24, 1926, and "Babe Ruth knocked what is considered to have been one of his longest homers....I never saw such a wallop. His bat, a young war club, flashed out quicker than thought and the next instant the ball was nearly over the bleachers." Toye, who was tired, was not with him that day. They were worried about her health.

In their second year in New York, after Columbia arranged another, more remunerative fellowship for the young research chemist, the letters to Colorado trickled off. Husband and wife struggled to keep their household going. Somehow Toye had contracted tuberculosis. The airborne bacterium was everywhere, with everyone at all times exposed. In the 1920s one in ten Americans was susceptible. Toye was that one. She and her husband began making sad and difficult plans for her to return to Colorado.

As they prepared to leave, the couple sought to put the best possible face on their predicament. Instead of sidewalks and a two-room apartment, Buddy would have a rambling, three-story Boulder home to explore and sunny, open spaces in which to run. He would be in the arms of adoring grandparents, aunts, and uncles. Toye would receive proper rest and care. On her feet by Thanksgiving, she would surely, they planned, be back at her husband's side by spring. Carpenter would return to New York. T.B., they decided, might kill their dream of being together, but it would not extinguish their long-shared dream of his brilliant career.

In vindication of this plan, Carpenter had been offered his first job. A breadwinner at last, he was offered a salaried position to begin in the summer of 1927. He began looking for a bigger apartment and surprised Toye with a new Singer sewing machine. For himself, he splurged on a typewriter. Meanwhile, she did her best to bolster her husband's sometimes flagging confidence, though to little avail. The morning of their departure from Grand Central, Carpenter considered himself in the mirror darkly. Twenty-seven years old, with eight years of grueling, continuous schooling, he took the blame for his wife's sickness. Despite sprightly letters home, he knew the reality. Pennies hoarded at Toye's insistence, meals missed. He was still in debt to his mother.

His mood darkened as he packed his son's playthings in a box to be mailed to Colorado. A trip to run errands, among them mailing the bulky box, was rendered a daylong ordeal with the triumphant arrival, that June day, of America's new hero, Charles A. Lindbergh, Jr., for whom all superlatives failed: first, bravest, blondest, most handsome, most historic, most eligible, most transatlantic-most bankable. On June 13, 1927, while the research chemist struggled on the subway with a toddler and box, four and a half million screaming, cheering New Yorkers were celebrating the aviator's arrival with a tumultuous ticker-tape parade. Unbidden, a failure-tinged memory stirred: Carpenter recalled Lindbergh barnstorming in Boulder and with five of Toye's dollars in hand taking his pretty girl into the skies while he watched helplessly, pennilessly, from the ground.

WHILE NEW YORKERS mobbed the subways because of that "knucklehead from Minnesota," he thought bitterly of his once-vaunted promise, his reams of academic parchment, enough to paper the privy at Palmer Lake. He could barely afford postage for his son's few possessions home. Buddy stood trustingly between his feet as the subway car lurched and swayed downtown, while New York awarded Lindbergh, the Lone Eagle and indifferent student, the city's Medal of Honor. How strange to think that another June, thirty-five years in the future, Carpenter would reconcile himself to knucklehead pilots. In 1962 he would watch as Buddy stood, flanked by former presidents, to be awarded the great city's same Medal of Honor.

Copyright © 2002 by Scott Carpenter and Kristen C. Stoever

All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopy, recording, or any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher.

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the following address: Permissions Department, Harcourt, Inc., 6277 Sea Harbor Drive, Orlando, Florida 32887-6777.



Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Library Journal on 2002-07-15:
Former astronaut Carpenter joins with his daughter to tell the story of his life, focusing on the landmark Project Mercury. With a seven-city author tour. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Appeared in Publishers Weekly on 2002-12-23:
Amid a flurry of recent accounts of the early days of the U.S. space program, astronaut Carpenter and Stoever, his daughter, weigh in with a biography (most of it written jarringly in the third person) of the fourth American in space. While a good deal of factual information about Carpenter's life is presented, there is very little probing beneath the surface. Perhaps the most controversial material is Carpenter's discussion of the specifics of his three-orbit flight on May 24, 1962, which ended with the American public not knowing for hours whether Carpenter and his Mercury capsule Aurora 7 had survived re-entry. His take is very different from that offered last year by Chris Kraft (Flight: My Life in Mission Control). While the former mission controller claims that Carpenter "malfunctioned," Carpenter argues that he fulfilled his tasks admirably despite a series of mechanical failures on board the capsule. The third person voice is lively if not compelling, and though there is not very much new information about the early days of NASA here, one can get a flavor of the times and a sense of the people responsible for bringing America into the space age. Pictures not seen by PW. (Jan.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Appeared in Choice on 2003-06-01:
This autobiography of Scott Carpenter (written with daughter Kristen Stoever), the second American to orbit the Earth, begins with a history of Carpenter ancestors, from the Plymouth Colony up through his childhood in Boulder, Colorado. Carpenter joined the Navy in 1943 and was in flight training when the war ended. After graduating from the University of Colorado, he joined the Navy again in 1949, and in 1959 he became one of the original seven Mercury astronauts. His flight in Aurora 7 is described in great detail. After resigning from NASA in 1967, he continued to work on the Navy's Sealab underwater habitat program as an aquanaut. Carpenter's adventures as an astronaut were profiled by Tom Wolfe in his book The Right Stuff (CH, Mar'80). For Spacious Skies is a good addition to the history of space exploration and the experiences of an astronaut's family during the early days of manned space flight. Summing Up: Recommended. General readers; lower-division undergraduates through faculty. A. M. Strauss Vanderbilt University
Reviews
Review Quotes
ADVANCE PRAISE FOR FOR SPACIOUS SKIES "A rich story of remarkable accomplishment and sacrifice. Not only do we learn about the early years of space travel, we learn how one man became one of America's modern heroes."--John Glenn
ADVANCE PRAISE FORFOR SPACIOUS SKIES "A rich story of remarkable accomplishment and sacrifice. Not only do we learn about the early years of space travel, we learn how one man became one of America's modern heroes."--John Glenn
"A rich story of remarkable accomplishment and sacrifice. Not only do we learn about the early years of space travel, we learn how one man became one of America's modern heros." --John Glenn
"A rich story of remarkable accomplishment and sacrifice. Not only do we learn about the early years of space travel, we learn how one man became one of America's modern heros."--John Glenn
This item was reviewed in:
Booklist, July 2002
Library Journal, July 2002
Kirkus Reviews, December 2002
Publishers Weekly, December 2002
Booklist, January 2003
Library Journal, February 2003
Choice, June 2003
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Summaries
Main Description
Coming from a family of early Colorado pioneers, astronaut Scott Carpenter grew up with a vibrant frontier tradition of exploration. He went on to become one of seven Project Mercury astronauts to take part in America's burgeoning space program in the 1960s. Here he writes of the pioneering science, training, and biomedicine of early space flight and tells the heart-stopping tale of his famous spaceflight aboard Aurora 7.Carpenter also shares a family story of tenderness and fortitude. Raised by his grandparents in Boulder, Colorado, while his mother lay sick for years with tuberculosis, Carpenter witnessed bravery, love, sacrifice, and endurance that prepared him for life as a Navy pilot during two wars, service to country as a Mercury astronaut, and finally as a pioneering underwater explorer.Written with his daughter, Kris Stoever, For Spacious Skies tells a wonderful American family story filled with never-before-told insider tales from the earliest days of NASA and, for the first time ever, Carpenter's own account of his controversial flight and splashdown.
Main Description
Coming from a family of early Colorado pioneers, astronaut Scott Carpenter grew up with a vibrant frontier tradition of exploration. He went on to become one of seven Project Mercury astronauts to take part in America's burgeoning space program in the 1960s. Here he writes of the pioneering science, training, and biomedicine of early space flight and tells the heart-stopping tale of his famous spaceflight aboard Aurora 7 . Carpenter also shares a family story of tenderness and fortitude. Raised by his grandparents in Boulder, Colorado, while his mother lay sick for years with tuberculosis, Carpenter witnessed bravery, love, sacrifice, and endurance that prepared him for life as a Navy pilot during two wars, service to country as a Mercury astronaut, and finally as a pioneering underwater explorer. Written with his daughter, Kris Stoever, For Spacious Skies tells a wonderful American family story filled with never-before-told insider tales from the earliest days of NASA and, for the first time ever, Carpenter's own account of his controversial flight and splashdown.
Main Description
Coming from a family of early Colorado pioneers, astronaut Scott Carpenter grew up with a vibrant frontier tradition of exploration. He went on to become one of seven Project Mercury astronauts to take part in America's burgeoning space program in the 1960s. Here he writes of the pioneering science, training, and biomedicine of early space flight and tells the heart-stopping tale of his famous spaceflight aboard Aurora 7. Carpenter also shares a family story of tenderness and fortitude. Raised by his grandparents in Boulder, Colorado, while his mother lay sick for years with tuberculosis, Carpenter witnessed bravery, love, sacrifice, and endurance that prepared him for life as a Navy pilot during two wars, service to country as a Mercury astronaut, and finally as a pioneering underwater explorer. Written with his daughter, Kris Stoever, For Spacious Skies tells a wonderful American family story filled with never-before-told insider tales from the earliest days of NASA and, for the first time ever, Carpenter's own account of his controversial flight and splashdown.
Back Cover Copy
Advance praise for For Spacious Skies"A rich story of remarkable accomplishment and sacrifice. Not only do we learn about the early years of space travel, we learn how one man became one of America's modern heroes."--John Glenn "For Spacious Skies is more than the adventures of the Mercury astronaut and Deep Submergence aquanaut Scott Carpenter. It is the heart-breaking story of a family torn apart and a boy called Buddy who flew solo into space, and lived for an eternity in the depths of the sea, looking for his father."-- Tom Wolfe, author of The Right Stuff"By many miles the best memoir of Project Mercury. For Spacious Skies is a splendid, writerly combination of personal and national journeying, full of thoughtfulness, thrills, and a deep, dignified emotion. For anyone who remembers the first light of the space ageor had the bad luck of being too young to live through itthis is the indispensable book."--Thomas Mallon, author of Aurora 7 and Mrs. Paine's Garage
Back Cover Copy
Advance praise for For Spacious Skies "A rich story of remarkable accomplishment and sacrifice. Not only do we learn about the early years of space travel, we learn how one man became one of America's modern heroes." --John Glenn "For Spacious Skies is more than the adventures of the Mercury astronaut and Deep Submergence aquanaut Scott Carpenter. It is the heart-breaking story of a family torn apart and a boy called Buddy who flew solo into space, and lived for an eternity in the depths of the sea, looking for his father." -- Tom Wolfe, author of The Right Stuff "By many miles the best memoir of Project Mercury. For Spacious Skies is a splendid, writerly combination of personal and national journeying, full of thoughtfulness, thrills, and a deep, dignified emotion. For anyone who remembers the first light of the space ageor had the bad luck of being too young to live through itthis is the indispensable book." --Thomas Mallon, author of Aurora 7 and Mrs. Paine's Garage
Back Cover Copy
Advance praise forFor Spacious Skies "A rich story of remarkable accomplishment and sacrifice. Not only do we learn about the early years of space travel, we learn how one man became one of America's modern heroes." --John Glenn "For Spacious Skies is more than the adventures of the Mercury astronaut and Deep Submergence aquanaut Scott Carpenter. It is the heart-breaking story of a family torn apart and a boy called Buddy who flew solo into space, and lived for an eternity in the depths of the sea, looking for his father." -- Tom Wolfe, author ofThe Right Stuff "By many miles the best memoir of Project Mercury.For Spacious Skiesis a splendid, writerly combination of personal and national journeying, full of thoughtfulness, thrills, and a deep, dignified emotion. For anyone who remembers the first light of the space ageor had the bad luck of being too young to live through itthis is the indispensable book." --Thomas Mallon, author ofAurora 7andMrs. Paine's Garage
Table of Contents
Prologuep. ix
Earth
Buddyp. 3
A Frozen Seap. 16
The Unpleasantnessp. 31
Pocketknives, Pens, and Other Edge Toolsp. 44
Sky
I Am Now a Naval Aviation Cadetp. 69
A Navy Wife?p. 91
Love, War, and Quonset Hutsp. 108
Stars
For Spacious Skiesp. 133
You Are Hereby Orderedp. 163
One Hundred Chimpsp. 196
The Fibrillating Heartp. 217
Delta Becomes Aurorap. 238
Commander Carpenter and His Flying Machine!p. 276
The Color of Firep. 296
Epiloguep. 329
Notesp. 333
Acknowledgmentsp. 358
Indexp. 362
Table of Contents provided by Syndetics. All Rights Reserved.

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