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US Mercury astronaut Scott Carpenter dies at 88



Scott Carpenter, one of the original members of the Mercury 7 - Nasa's first group of astronauts - has died aged 88, his family has announced.


In 1962 Mr Carpenter became the second American to orbit the earth, piloting the Aurora 7 spacecraft through three revolutions of the earth.


After retiring in 1969 he took up oceanographic activities.


John Glenn, who flew the first orbital mission, is the last surviving member of the Mercury team.


Scott Carpenter's wife, Patty Barrett, said her husband had suffered complications following a stroke in September and died in a Denver hospice.


He lived in Vail, Colorado.


Mr Carpenter, who was born in Boulder, Colorado, was commissioned in the US Navy in 1949 and served as a pilot during the Korean War.


In April 1959 he was selected as one of the original seven Mercury astronauts and underwent training with Nasa, specialising in communication and navigation.


He was the backup pilot for John Glenn during preparation for the first US manned orbital space flight in February 1962, and gave the historic send-off to his teammate: "Godspeed, John Glenn.''


During his own flight, Scott Carpenter's capsule landed 288 miles away from where it was meant to, leaving Nasa and the nation waiting anxiously to see if he had survived.


The Navy recovered him from the Caribbean, floating in his life-raft with his feet propped up.


In a joint lecture with John Glenn 49 years later at the Smithsonian Institution, Mr Carpenter recalled his feelings from that time.


"You're looking out at a totally black sky, seeing an altimeter reading of 90,000ft and realise you are going straight up. And the thought crossed my mind: What am I doing?''


Scott Carpenter did not go back into space but later joined the US Navy's SeaLab II programme and in 1965 spent 30 days under the ocean off the coast of California.


After retirement he founded his company Sea Sciences, working closely with diver and researcher Jacques Cousteau.




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Maria de Villota: F1 reserve driver found dead in Seville :surprised:





Formula 1 reserve racing driver Maria De Villota has been found dead in a hotel room in Seville, Spain.


No cause of death has yet been released for the 33-year-old Spaniard, who lost her right eye in a crash while testing for the Marussia team last year.


De Villota, daughter of former Formula 1 driver Emilio De Villota, suffered severe head and facial injuries after colliding with a lorry.


She was reported to have been in Seville to launch her autobiography.


F1 teams and drivers have expressed their shock at the news.


Caterham reserve Alexander Rossi, an occasional analyst for BBC Sport, said: "Absolutely stunned and heartbroken to hear Maria De Villota has passed away. My thoughts and prayers go out. We will never ever forget you."


Mercedes added: "Our deepest condolences to the family and friends of Maria de Villota following the tragic news of her passing.


"Her courage, determination and hope were an example and inspiration to many. She will be sadly missed by our sport."


De Villota had previously competed in Spanish Formula 3 and the Daytona 24 Hours race.




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  • 3 weeks later...

Reed died on Sunday of an illness related to a May liver transplant, according to Andrew Wylie, who said the singer had been frail for months.

Born in 1942, Reed found success with the Velvet Underground in the 1960s, fusing art and music in collaboration with artist Andy Warhol and producing music that influenced generations of musicians.

"The first Velvet Underground record sold 30,000 copies in the first five years,'' Brian Eno, who produced albums by Roxy Music and Talking Heads, once said. "I think everyone who bought one of those 30,000 copies started a band.''

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