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    Malcolm Scott Carpenter born May 1, 1925 was one of the original seven astronauts selected in 1959 for Project Mercury. Created by the newly formed National Aeronautics and Space Administration NASA, Project Mercury was the United States answer to the Soviet Union's space program. This rivalry eventually became the space race, a contest between the two superpowers to land the first men on the moon and return them safely to earth. Carpenter was the second American to orbit the earth and the fourth American in space, following Alan Sheppard, Gus Grissom, and John Glenn. After being chosen for Project Mercury in 1959, Carpenter served as backup pilot for John Glenn, who flew the first U.S. orbital mission aboard Friendship 7.He flew into space on May 24, 1962, atop the Mercury-Atlas 7 rocket for a three-orbit science mission that lasted nearly five hours. His Aurora 7 spacecraft attained a maximum altitude of 164 miles and an orbital velocity of 17,532 miles per hour. It is personally signed by Scott Carpenter, framed in black wood under glass. This arrives with a certificate of authenticity.