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David E. Steitz
Headquarters, Washington

Laura Holtman
Denver Museum of Nature & Science

Nov. 6, 2007
RELEASE : M07-154
NASA Honors Mercury Astronaut Scott Carpenter
DENVER - NASA will honor Mercury astronaut and retired Navy Commander Scott Carpenter with the presentation of an Ambassador of Exploration Award for his involvement in the U.S. space program. Carpenter will receive the award during a evening ceremony on Nov. 10 at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science. The award will remain at the museum for display. Reporters who would like to attend the ceremony should contact Laura Holtman at 303-370-6407 by 3 p.m. MST Friday, Nov. 9.

The award is a moon rock encased in Lucite and mounted for public display as inspiration to a new generation of explorers who will help return humans to the moon and eventually travel on to Mars and beyond. The rock is part of the 842 pounds of samples collected during the six Apollo lunar expeditions from 1969 to 1972.

NASA is giving the Ambassador of Exploration Award to the first generation of explorers in the Mercury, Gemini and Apollo space programs for realizing America’s vision of going to the moon. NASA also is recognizing several other key individuals who played significant roles in the early space programs.

NASA chose Carpenter as a Project Mercury astronaut in 1959. During his historic flight in 1962, he orbited the Earth three times and manually controlled his capsule's splashdown in the Atlantic Ocean. Following his space flight, Carpenter continued his naval career and conducted pioneering experiments as an aquanaut. For information about NASA and agency programs, visit:

To learn more about Scott Carpenter on the Web, visit:

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