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Worksheets and No Prep Teaching Resources
Reading Comprehension Worksheets
Social Studies Biographies
|edHelper's suggested reading level:||grades 9 to 12|
|Flesch-Kincaid grade level:||9.75|
By Kathleen W. Redman
1 Space travel today is nothing new. In fifty years of launching people into space, more than 500 names have been added to the list that began in 1961 with Russian cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin. Today even some private citizens (wealthy ones) can now travel into outer space, but just a few years ago, the job was left to trained astronauts. Today most Americans can't name any present-day astronauts. But in the early days of space travel, almost all Americans knew the names of the few men chosen to travel into outer space. It was a time when space travel was something new and amazing. It was the time of astronaut Scott Carpenter. Carpenter was only the fourth American to fly in space.
2 Carpenter was born in Boulder, Colorado, on May 1, 1925. His first piloting job came after he graduated high school in 1943. He joined the Navy to become an aviation cadet, and he served until the end of World War II in 1945. Then Carpenter returned home to Boulder to study aeronautical engineering at the University of Colorado. He completed his studies there, except for one course in heat transfer. At the end of his senior year, he missed an exam and had to forfeit that course credit. It was a mistake that would later be corrected in a fairly unusual way.
3 After his university studies, Carpenter was called back into the Navy in 1949. This time, armed with his university education, Carpenter would attend flight training to become a Navy pilot. He earned his wings in 1951 and served as a reconnaissance and ASW (anti-submarine warfare) pilot during the Korean War. He was later sent to Adak, Alaska, where he flew spy missions along the Russian and Chinese coasts. In 1954, he was selected to become one of the Navy's test pilots.
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