May 24, 1962 - Lieutenant Commander Scott Carpenter became today the second American astronaut to orbit the earth. His three-orbit trip ended, however, with a global audience suffering almost an hour’s anxiety about his safe return. It was three hours from the time his space capsule landed until he was plucked from a life raft by a rescue helicopter. And it was hours later before the capsule was picked up by the destroyer Pierce. Tonight, on Grand Turk Island in the British West Indies, Commander Carpenter had an emotional reunion with two fellow astronauts, John H. Glenn, who made the first orbital fight, and Walter M. Schirra. Coming down from orbit, the 37-year-old Navy test pilot was carried 250 miles beyond the intended Caribbean landing point and the recovery ships waiting to pick him up.