VAIL, Colo. - Astronaut Scott Carpenter, one of the original Mercury 7 astronauts and the second American to orbit Earth, is recovering from a recent stroke in Vail.
Patty Carpenter tells the Vail Daily (http://bit.ly/18h0e9R ) her 88-year-old husband had a stroke last week and has been moved to a rehabilitation center. She hopes he will be up and around in a few weeks.
Scott Carpenter, a longtime Vail resident, is remembered for his radio call "God speed, John Glenn," when Friendship 7 lifted off and Glenn became the first American to orbit Earth on Feb. 20, 1962. Carpenter was Glenn's backup pilot for that flight.
Three months later, Carpenter became the second American in orbit, carrying out scientific experiments during a three-orbit flight that lasted five hours.
Patty Carpenter says "Scott was John's backup. Now John is his backup," adding that the two astronauts talk to each other almost every day.
Carpenter is a Colorado native, born in Boulder in 1925 and a graduate of CU-Boulder.