Astronaut training, 1960s

Astronaut training, 1960s

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Credit: NASA/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

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Caption: Scott Carpenter (1925-2013), American astronaut, practising manual control of a spacecraft in the Air Lubricated Free Attitude (ALFA) trainer at NASA's Langley Air Force Base, Virginia, USA. This apparatus allowed the astronaut to see an image of Earth's surface at his feet while manually controlling the spacecraft. Carpenter piloted the Mercury-Atlas 7 (MA-7) mission launched on 24th May 1962. This was the second American mission to put a human in Earth orbit. It was a success, with Carpenter completing three Earth orbits in five hours in the Mercury capsule Aurora 7. However, a targeting mishap during re-entry took the spacecraft about 400 kilometres off course, delaying recovery of Carpenter and the craft.

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