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March 02, 2011

Mercury Seven astronaut Scott Carpenter fishes in the Florida Keys

Mercury Seven astronaut Scott Carpenter fishes in the Florida Keys

KEY WEST, Florida Keys -- An American space pioneer fished in the Florida Keys Wednesday, catching and releasing a nice array of gamefish including grouper, cero mackerel and kingfish.

Former astronaut Scott Carpenter, one of two surviving members of the Mercury Seven, fished off Key West with Saltwater Angler owner Captain Tony Murphy aboard his Key Limey.

The trip was part of a fundraiser for the Astronaut Scholarship Foundation, a non-profit organization established by the Mercury astronauts.

The foundation's goal is to aid the United States in retaining its leadership in science and technology by providing scholarships for college students pursuing degrees in these fields.

Unique fundraisers are staged year-round to raise money needed for these scholarships. A Florida Keys fishing trip with Carpenter was one of the most recent and its winners were Steve Wirth and Jill D'Agostino, of Mechanicsburg, Penn.

The Pier House Resort & Caribbean Spa donated accommodations for the prize.

Former Senator John Glenn is the second last surviving member of the Mercury Seven.