Mercury Seven astronaut remembered by comedian Bill Dana
Astronaut Scott Carpenter with the Mercury Seven
Comedian Bill Dana
NASHVILLE, Tenn. -
The second American to orbit the Earth was remembered by a lifelong friend who lives in Nashville.
Astronaut Scott Carpenter, one of the original seven astronauts selected for NASA's Mercury Flight in 1959, died Thursday in Denver.
Comedian Bill Dana, who now lives in Nashville, was adopted by the Mercury Seven as an honorary astronaut. Dana's most memorable role was the character "Jose Jiminez" on the Steve Allen Show in the 1950s.
"What a source of pride it is that the first words from planet earth to a man entering space were 'Okay, Jose, you're on your way.' That was Scotty to Al Shepard and his first Mercury flight," said Dana.
Dana said he and Carpenter remained friends until the very end.
"Scotty Carpenter was my brother, that's not a frivolous show business thing. He was there, he lived in my house," said Dana.
Dana continues to serve on the board of the Astronaut Scholarship Foundation.