Factbox: U.S. space pioneer Scott Carpenter dies at 88

(Reuters) - Scott Carpenter, who died on Thursday at age 88, was one of seven Project Mercury astronauts who pioneered U.S. space exploration in the 1960s.

Here are a few facts about Carpenter's life:

* Carpenter was commissioned in the U.S. Navy in 1949. During the Korean War he flew missions in the Yellow Sea, South China Sea and the Formosa Straits.

* He underwent intensive training with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, specializing in communication and navigation. He served as backup pilot for John Glenn during the preparation for the first U.S. manned orbital space flight in February 1962.

* Carpenter flew the second U.S. manned orbital flight on May 24, 1962. He piloted his Aurora 7 spacecraft through three revolutions of the earth.

* Carpenter left the University of Colorado one credit short of a degree. After his spaceflight, the school decided to give him the degree anyway.

* On leave of absence from NASA, Carpenter participated in the Navy's Man-in the-Sea Project as an aquanaut in the SEALAB II program off California's coast in 1965. He spent 30 days living and working on the ocean floor.

* Upon retirement from the Navy in 1969, Carpenter founded and was chief executive officer of Sear Sciences Inc., a venture capital corporation. He also worked with the French oceanographer Jacques Cousteau and members of his Calypso team. Carpenter dived in most of the world's oceans, including the Arctic under ice.

* Carpenter appeared as television spokesman for General Motors, Nintendo, and Atari; and hosted and narrated television documentaries.

* In 2003, Harcourt published his memoir, "For Spacious Skies," co-authored with his daughter, Kristen Stoever.

(Writing by Paul Grant; Editing by Cynthia Johnston; Editing by David Gregorio)