SECOND U.S. ASTRONAUT — Lt. Comdr. M. Scott Carpenter was rocketed into space at 8:45 a.m., EST, on May 24 to become the second U. S. astronaut.… As one of his experiments, Astronaut Carpenter released a small, 30-inch balloon…. The idea of the experiment was to determine whether a man undergoing the rigors of weightlessness could maintain his depth perception. Astronaut Carpenter found that he could.… Another experiment was to eat solid food. Astronaut Carpenter reported he had no difficulty with the bite-sized snacks he carried into orbit in a plastic bag — they went down all right despite his weightless condition. He noted that they were a little crumbly, however.