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An astronaut (from the Greek "astron" (ἄστρον), meaning "star", and "nautes" (ναύτης), meaning "sailor") is a person trained, equipped, and deployed by a human spaceflight program to serve as a commander or crew member aboard a
spacecraft File:Space Shuttle Columbia launching.jpg, 275px, The US Space Shuttle flew 135 times from 1981 to 2011, supporting Spacelab, ''Mir'', the Hubble Space Telescope, and the ISS. (''Columbia'' STS-1, maiden launch, which had a white external tank, ...

spacecraft
. Although generally reserved for professional space travelers, the terms are sometimes applied to anyone who travels into space, including scientists, politicians, journalists and
tourists at the archaeological site of Chichén Itza. in Vienna. Tourism is travel for pleasure or business; also the theory and practice of touring (disambiguation), touring, the business of attracting, accommodating, and entertaining tourists, and th ...
. "Astronaut" technically applies to all human space travelers regardless of nationality or allegiance; however, astronauts fielded by Russia or the
Soviet Union The Soviet Union,. officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. (USSR),. was a that spanned during its existence from 1922 to 1991. It was nominally a of multiple national ; in practice and were highly until its final years. The ...
are typically known instead as cosmonauts (from the Russian "kosmos" (космос), meaning "universe", also borrowed from Greek) in order to distinguish them from American or otherwise
NATO The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO, ; french: Organisation du traité de l'Atlantique nord, ), also called the North Atlantic Alliance, is an intergovernmental military alliance between 30 European and North American countries. Th ...
-oriented space travellers. Comparatively recent developments in manned spaceflight made by China and other East Asian nations have also led to the rise of the term taikonaut (from the
Mandarin Mandarin may refer to: * Mandarin (bureaucrat), a bureaucrat of Imperial China (the original meaning of the word) ** by extension, any senior government bureaucrat A bureaucrat is a member of a bureaucracy and can compose the administration o ...
"tàikōng" (太空), meaning "space"), although its use is somewhat informal and its origin is unclear. Until 2002, astronauts were sponsored and trained exclusively by governments, either by the military or by civilian space agencies. With the suborbital flight of the privately funded
SpaceShipOne SpaceShipOne is an experimental air-launched rocket-powered aircraft A rocket-powered aircraft or rocket plane is an aircraft An aircraft is a vehicle that is able to flight, fly by gaining support from the Atmosphere of Earth, air. I ...

SpaceShipOne
in 2004, a new category of astronaut was created: the
commercial astronaut A commercial astronaut (or commercial cosmonaut) is a person trained to command, pilot, or serve as a crew member of a privately funded spacecraft 275px, The US Space Shuttle flew 135 times from 1981 to 2011, supporting Spacelab, ''Mir'', the ...
.


Definition

The criteria for what constitutes
human spaceflight Human spaceflight (also referred to as manned spaceflight or crewed spaceflight) is spaceflight with a crew or passengers aboard a spacecraft, the spacecraft being operated directly by the onboard human crew. Spacecraft can also be telerobotic ...

human spaceflight
vary, with some focus on the point where the atmosphere becomes so thin that
centrifugal force In Newtonian mechanics, the centrifugal force is an inertial force A fictitious force (also called a pseudo force, d'Alembert force, or inertial force) is a force that appears to act on a mass whose motion is described using a non-inertial refe ...
, rather than
aerodynamic force Forces on an aerofoil. An aerodynamic force is a force exerted on a body by the air (or other gas) in which the body is immersed, and is due to the relative motion between the body and the gas. There are two causes of Aerodynamics, aerodynamic forc ...
, carries a significant portion of the weight of the flight object. The
Fédération Aéronautique Internationale The Fédération Aéronautique Internationale (; FAI; en, World Air Sports Federation) is the world governing body for air sports, and also stewards definitions regarding human spaceflight. It was founded on 14 October 1905, and is headquarte ...
(FAI) Sporting Code for astronautics recognizes only flights that exceed the
Kármán line The Kármán line is an attempt to define a boundary between Earth's atmosphere File:Atmosphere gas proportions.svg, Composition of Earth's atmosphere by volume, excluding water vapor. Lower pie represents trace gases that together compose ab ...
, at an altitude of . In the United States, professional, military, and commercial astronauts who travel above an altitude of are awarded
astronaut wings The United States Astronaut Badge is a badge Image:Badge 1012.jpg, Port Authority of New York and New Jersey Police Department badge A badge is a device or accessory, often containing the insignia of an organization, which is presented or disp ...
. , 552 people from 36 countries have reached or more in altitude, of whom 549 reached
low Earth orbit A low Earth orbit (LEO) is an Earth-centered orbit near the planet, often specified as having a period Period may refer to: Common uses * Era, a length or span of time * Full stop (or period), a punctuation mark Arts, entertainment, and media ...
or beyond. Of these, 24 people have traveled beyond low Earth orbit, either to lunar orbit, the lunar surface, or, in one case, a loop around the
Moon The Moon is Earth Earth is the third planet from the Sun and the only astronomical object known to harbour and support life. 29.2% of Earth's surface is land consisting of continents and islands. The remaining 70.8% is Water distri ...

Moon
. Three of the 24—
Jim Lovell James Arthur Lovell Jr. (; born March 25, 1928) is an American retired astronaut, naval aviator, test pilot and mechanical engineer. In 1968, as command module pilot of Apollo 8, he became, with Frank Borman and William Anders, one of the fi ...

Jim Lovell
,
John Young
John Young
and
Eugene Cernan Eugene Andrew Cernan (; March 14, 1934 – January 16, 2017) was an American astronaut An astronaut (from the Greek "astron" (ἄστρον), meaning "star", and "nautes" (ναύτης), meaning "sailor") is a person trained, equipped, and ...
—did so twice. , under the U.S. definition, 558 people qualify as having reached space, above altitude. Of eight
X-15 The North American X-15 is a hypersonic In aerodynamics, a hypersonic speed is one that greatly exceeds the speed of sound, often stated as starting at speeds of speed of sound, Mach 5 and above. The precise Mach number at which a craft ca ...

X-15
pilots who exceeded in altitude, only one exceeded 100 kilometers (about 62 miles). Space travelers have spent over 41,790 man-days (114.5 man-years) in space, including over 100 astronaut-days of
spacewalks Extravehicular activity (EVA) is any activity done by an astronaut or cosmonaut outside a spacecraft 275px, The US Space Shuttle flew 135 times from 1981 to 2011, supporting Spacelab, ''Mir'', the Hubble Space Telescope, and the ISS. (''C ...
. , the man with the longest cumulative time in space is
Gennady Padalka Gennady Ivanovich Padalka (russian: Гeннадий Иванович Падалка; born 21 June 1958 in Krasnodar Krasnodar (; rus, Краснода́р, p=krəsnɐˈdar) is the largest city and the administrative centre of Krasnodar Krai. T ...
, who has spent 879 days in space. holds the record for the most time in space by a woman, 377 days.


Terminology

In 1959, when both the United States and
Soviet Union The Soviet Union,. officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. (USSR),. was a that spanned during its existence from 1922 to 1991. It was nominally a of multiple national ; in practice and were highly until its final years. The ...
were planning, but had yet to launch humans into space,
NASA The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA; ) is an independent agency A regulatory agency or regulatory authority, is a Public benefit corporation Public-benefit corporation is a term that has different meanings in differen ...

NASA
Administrator T. Keith Glennan and his Deputy Administrator,
Hugh Dryden Hugh Latimer Dryden (July 2, 1898 – December 2, 1965) was an American aeronautical scientist A scientist is a person who conducts Scientific method, scientific research to advance knowledge in an Branches of science, area of interest. In cla ...
, discussed whether spacecraft crew members should be called ''astronauts'' or ''cosmonauts''. Dryden preferred "cosmonaut", on the grounds that flights would occur in and to the broader ''
cosmos The cosmos (, ) is another name for the Universe The universe ( la, universus) is all of space and time and their contents, including planets, stars, galaxy, galaxies, and all other forms of matter and energy. The Big Bang theory is the prev ...

cosmos
'', while the "astro" prefix suggested flight specifically to the
star A star is an astronomical object consisting of a luminous spheroid of plasma Plasma or plasm may refer to: Science * Plasma (physics), one of the four fundamental states of matter * Plasma (mineral) or heliotrope, a mineral aggregate * Quark ...

star
s. Most NASA
Space Task Group The Space Task Group was a working group of NASA The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA; ) is an independent agencies of the United States government, independent agency of the Federal government of the United States, U.S. ...
members preferred "astronaut", which survived by common usage as the preferred American term. When the Soviet Union launched the first man into space,
Yuri Gagarin Yuri Alekseyevich Gagarin; Gagarin's first name is sometimes transliterated as ''Yuriy'', ''Youri'', or ''Yury''. (9 March 1934 – 27 March 1968) was a Soviet The Soviet Union,. officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. (U ...
in 1961, they chose a term which anglicizes to "cosmonaut".


Astronaut

A professional space traveler is called an ''astronaut''. The first known use of the term "astronaut" in the modern sense was by Neil R. Jones in his 1930 short story "The Death's Head Meteor". The word itself had been known earlier; for example, in
Percy GregPercy Greg (7 January 1836 Bury – 24 December 1889, Chelsea), son of William Rathbone Greg, was an English English usually refers to: * English language English is a West Germanic languages, West Germanic language first spoken in Hist ...
's 1880 book ''Across the Zodiac'', "astronaut" referred to a spacecraft. In ''Les Navigateurs de l'Infini'' (1925) by , the word ''astronautique'' (astronautic) was used. The word may have been inspired by "aeronaut", an older term for an air traveler first applied in 1784 to
balloon A balloon is a flexible bag that can be inflated with a gas, such as helium Helium (from el, ἥλιος, helios Helios; Homeric Greek: ), Latinized as Helius; Hyperion and Phaethon are also the names of his father and son respectiv ...
ists. An early use of "astronaut" in a non-fiction publication is
Eric Frank Russell Eric Frank Russell (January 6, 1905 – February 28, 1978) was a British British may refer to: Peoples, culture, and language * British people, nationals or natives of the United Kingdom, British Overseas Territories, and Crown Dependencies. ...
's poem "The Astronaut", appearing in the November 1934 ''Bulletin of the
British Interplanetary Society The British Interplanetary Society (BIS), founded in Liverpool Liverpool is a City status in the United Kingdom, city and metropolitan borough in Merseyside, England. Its population in 2019 was approximately , making it the List of Engli ...
''. The first known formal use of the term
astronautics Astronautics (or cosmonautics) is the theory and practice of travel beyond Earth's atmosphere File:Atmosphere gas proportions.svg, Composition of Earth's atmosphere by volume, excluding water vapor. Lower pie represents trace gases that toget ...
in the scientific community was the establishment of the annual International Astronautical Congress in 1950, and the subsequent founding of the
International Astronautical Federation The International Astronautical Federation (IAF) is an international space advocacy organization based in Paris Paris () is the Capital city, capital and List of communes in France with over 20,000 inhabitants, most populous city of ...
the following year.
NASA The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA; ) is an independent agency A regulatory agency or regulatory authority, is a Public benefit corporation Public-benefit corporation is a term that has different meanings in differen ...

NASA
applies the term astronaut to any crew member aboard NASA spacecraft bound for Earth orbit or beyond. NASA also uses the term as a title for those selected to join its Astronaut Corps. The European Space Agency similarly uses the term astronaut for members of its Astronaut Corps.


Cosmonaut

By convention, an astronaut employed by the
Russian Federal Space Agency The State Space Corporation "Roscosmos" (russian: Государственная корпорация по космической деятельности «Роскосмос»), commonly known simply as Roscosmos (russian: Роскосмос) ...
(or its
Soviet The Soviet Union,. officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. (USSR),. was a socialist state A socialist state, socialist republic, or socialist country, sometimes referred to as a workers' state or workers' republic, is a sovere ...
predecessor) is called a ''cosmonaut'' in English texts. The word is an
Anglicization Linguistic anglicisation (or anglicization, occasionally anglification, anglifying, or Englishing) is the practice of modifying foreign words, names, and phrases to make them easier to spell, pronounce, or understand in English. The term commonly ...
of ''kosmonavt'' (russian: космонавт ). Other countries of the former
Eastern Bloc The Eastern Bloc, also known as the Communist Bloc, the Socialist Bloc and the Soviet Bloc, was the group of socialist state A socialist state, socialist republic, or socialist country, sometimes referred to as a workers' state or workers' ...
use variations of the Russian kosmonavt, such as the pl, kosmonauta (although Polish also uses , and the two words are considered synonyms). Coinage of the term has been credited to Soviet aeronautics (or "
cosmonautics Astronautics (or cosmonautics) is the theory and practice of travel beyond atmosphere of Earth, Earth's atmosphere into outer space. Spaceflight is one of its main applications and space science its overarching field. The term ''astronautics'' (or ...
") pioneer
Mikhail Tikhonravov Mikhail Klavdievich Tikhonravov (July 29, 1900 – March 3, 1974) was a Soviet aerospace engineer and scientist who was a pioneer of spacecraft design and rocketry. Mikhail Tikhonravov was born in Vladimir, Russia. Attended the Zhukovsky Air Fo ...

Mikhail Tikhonravov
(1900–1974). The first cosmonaut was
Soviet Air Force The Soviet Air Forces ( rus, Военно-воздушные силы, r=Voyenno-Vozdushnyye Sily (VVS), literally "Military Air Forces") were one of the air forces of the Soviet Union. The other was the Soviet Air Defence Forces. The Air Forces ...
pilot
Yuri Gagarin Yuri Alekseyevich Gagarin; Gagarin's first name is sometimes transliterated as ''Yuriy'', ''Youri'', or ''Yury''. (9 March 1934 – 27 March 1968) was a Soviet The Soviet Union,. officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. (U ...
, also the first person in space. He was part of the first six Russians, with
German Titov Gherman Stepanovich Titov (russian: Герман Степанович Титов; 11 September 1935 – 20 September 2000) was a Soviet The Soviet Union,. officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. (USSR),. was a federal socialis ...
,
Yevgeny Khrunov Yevgeny Vasilyevich Khrunov (; 10 September 1933 – 19 May 2000) was a Soviet The Soviet Union,. officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. (USSR),. was a federal socialist state in Northern Eurasia Eurasia () is the larges ...
,
Andriyan Nikolayev Andriyan Grigoryevich Nikolayev ( Chuvash and russian: Андриян Григорьевич Николаев; 5 September 1929 – 3 July 2004) was a Soviet The Soviet Union,. officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. (USSR),. was ...
,
Pavel Popovich Pavel Romanovich Popovich (russian: Па́вел Рома́нович Попо́вич, uk, Павло Романович Попович, Pavlo Romanovych Popovych) (October 5, 1930 – September 29, 2009) was a Soviet cosmonaut. He was the fou ...

Pavel Popovich
, and Grigoriy Nelyubov, who were given the title of pilot-cosmonaut in January 1961.
Valentina Tereshkova Valentina Vladimirovna Tereshkova ( rus, Валентина Владимировна Терешкова, links=no, p=vɐlʲɪnʲˈtʲinə vlɐˈdʲimʲɪrəvnə tʲɪrʲɪʂˈkovə, a=Valentina Tereshkova.ogg; born 6 March 1937) is a member ...

Valentina Tereshkova
was the first female cosmonaut and the first and youngest woman to have flown in space with a solo mission on the
Vostok 6 Vostok 6 (russian: Восток-6, ''Orient The Orient is a term for the East, traditionally comprising anything that belongs to the Eastern world Eastern world, also known as the East or the Orient The Orient is a term for the East, t ...
in 1963. On 14 March 1995,
Norman Thagard Norman or Normans may refer to: Ethnic and cultural identity * The Normans The Normans (Norman Norman or Normans may refer to: Ethnic and cultural identity * The Normans The Normans (Norman language, Norman: ''Normaunds''; french: Norman ...
became the first American to ride to space on board a Russian launch vehicle, and thus became the first "American cosmonaut".


Taikonaut

In
Chinese Chinese can refer to: * Something related to China China, officially the People's Republic of China (PRC), is a country in East Asia. It is the List of countries and dependencies by population, world's most populous country, with a populat ...
, the term (, "Space-universe navigating personnel") is used for astronauts and cosmonauts in general, while (, "navigating
outer space Outer space, commonly shortened to space, is the expanse that exists beyond Earth Earth is the third planet from the Sun and the only astronomical object known to harbour and support life. 29.2% of Earth's surface is land consisting ...
personnel") is used for Chinese astronauts. Here, () is strictly defined as the navigation of outer space within the local
star system A star system or stellar system is a small number of stars that orbit each other, bound by gravitational attraction. A large group of stars bound by gravitation is generally called a ''star cluster Star clusters are large groups of star ...

star system
, i.e.
solar system The Solar SystemCapitalization of the name varies. The International Astronomical Union, the authoritative body regarding astronomical nomenclature, specifies capitalizing the names of all individual astronomical objects but uses mixed "Sola ...

solar system
. The phrase (, "spaceman") is often used in
Hong Kong Hong Kong (; , ), officially the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China (HKSAR), is a city A city is a large human settlement.Goodall, B. (1987) ''The Penguin Dictionary of Human Geography''. London: Pe ...

Hong Kong
and
Taiwan Taiwan, officially the Republic of China (ROC), is a country in East Asia East Asia is the eastern region of Asia Asia () is Earth's largest and most populous continent, located primarily in the Eastern Hemisphere, Eastern and N ...

Taiwan
. The term ''taikonaut'' is used by some English-language news media organizations for professional space travelers from China. The word has featured in the
Longman Longman, also known as Pearson Longman, is a publishing company Publishing is the activity of making information, literature, music, software and other content available to the public for sale or for free. Traditionally, the term refers to the ...

Longman
and
Oxford English Oxford spelling (also ''Oxford English Dictionary'' spelling, Oxford style, or Oxford English spelling) is a spelling standard that prescribes the use of British spelling in combination with the suffix ''-ize'' in words like ''realize'' and ''or ...
dictionaries, and the term became more common in 2003 when China sent its first astronaut
Yang Liwei Yang Liwei () (born 21 June 1965) is a major general, military pilot, and China National Space Administration astronaut An astronaut (from the Greek "astron" (ἄστρον), meaning "star", and "nautes" (ναύτης), meaning "sailor") is ...

Yang Liwei
into space aboard the ''
Shenzhou 5 Shenzhou 5 () was the first human spaceflight mission of the Chinese space program, launched on 15 October 2003. The Shenzhou spacecraft was launched on a Long March 2F launch vehicle. There had been four previous flights of uncrewed Shen ...

Shenzhou 5
'' spacecraft. This is the term used by
Xinhua News Agency Xinhua News Agency (English pronunciation: )J. C. Wells: Longman Pronunciation Dictionary, 3rd ed., for both British and American English, or New China News Agency, is the official state press agency of the People's Republic of China ...

Xinhua News Agency
in the English version of the Chinese ''
People's Daily The ''People's Daily'' () is the largest newspaper group in China. The paper is an official newspaper of the Central Committee Central committee is the common designation of a standing administrative body of communist parties A communist ...
'' since the advent of the Chinese space program. The origin of the term is unclear; as early as May 1998, Chiew Lee Yih () from
Malaysia Malaysia ( ; ) is a country in Southeast Asia Southeast Asia, also spelled South East Asia and South-East Asia, and also known as Southeastern Asia or SEA, is the geographical southeastern subregion of Asia, consisting of the regions ...

Malaysia
, used it in
newsgroup A Usenet newsgroup is a repository usually within the Usenet Usenet () is a worldwide distributed discussion system available on computers. It was developed from the general-purpose Unix-to-Unix Copy (UUCP) dial-up Dial-up Internet access ...
s.


Parastronaut

For its 2022 Astronaut Group, ESA envisions to recruit an astronaut with a physical disability, a category they called "parastronauts", with the intention but not guarantee of spaceflight. The categories of disability considered for the program were individuals with lower limb deficiency (either through amputation or congenital), leg length difference, or a short stature (less than ).


Other terms

With the rise of
space tourism Space tourism is Human spaceflight, human space travel for recreational purposes. There are several different types of space tourism, including orbital, suborbital and lunar space tourism. During the period from 2001 to 2009, seven space tour ...
,
NASA The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA; ) is an independent agency A regulatory agency or regulatory authority, is a Public benefit corporation Public-benefit corporation is a term that has different meanings in differen ...

NASA
and the
Russian Federal Space Agency The State Space Corporation "Roscosmos" (russian: Государственная корпорация по космической деятельности «Роскосмос»), commonly known simply as Roscosmos (russian: Роскосмос) ...
agreed to use the term " spaceflight participant" to distinguish those space travelers from professional astronauts on missions coordinated by those two agencies. While no nation other than Russia (and previously the Soviet Union), the United States, and China have launched a crewed spacecraft, several other nations have sent people into space in cooperation with one of these countries, i.e. the Soviet-led
Interkosmos Interkosmos (russian: Интеркосмос) was a Soviet space program, designed to help the Soviet Union's allies with crewed and uncrewed space missions. The program included the allied east-European states of the Warsaw Pact The Warsa ...

Interkosmos
program. Inspired partly by these missions, other synonyms for astronaut have entered occasional English usage. For example, the term ''spationaut'' (french: spationaute) is sometimes used to describe French space travelers, from the
Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through the power of the Roman Republic, it became ...

Latin
word for "space"; the
Malay Malay may refer to: Languages * Malay language or Bahasa Melayu, a major Austronesian language spoken in Indonesia, Malaysia, Brunei and Singapore ** History of the Malay language#Old Malay, the Malay language from the 4th to the 14th century ** ...
term (deriving from '''' meaning 'space') was used to describe participants in the Angkasawan program (note its similarity with the
Indonesian Indonesian is anything of, from, or related to Indonesia, an archipelagic country in Southeast Asia. It may refer to: * Indonesians, citizens of Indonesia ** Native Indonesians, diverse groups of local inhabitants of the archipelago ** Indonesian ...

Indonesian
term ''antariksawan''); and, the
Indian Space Research Organisation The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO ) is the national space agency of India India, officially the Republic of India (: ), is a country in . It is the by area, the country, and the most populous in the world. Bounded by the ...
hope to launch a
spacecraft A spacecraft is a vehicle or machine designed to fly in outer space. A type of artificial satellite alt=, A full-size model of the Earth observation satellite ERS 2 ">ERS_2.html" ;"title="Earth observation satellite ERS 2">Earth obse ...
in 2022 that would carry ''vyomanauts'', coined from the
Sanskrit Sanskrit (; attributively , ; nominalization, nominally , , ) is a classical language of South Asia that belongs to the Indo-Aryan languages, Indo-Aryan branch of the Indo-European languages. It arose in South Asia after its predecessor langua ...

Sanskrit
word ( meaning 'sky' or 'space'). In
Finland Finland ( fi, Suomi ; sv, Finland ), officially the Republic of Finland (; ), is a Nordic country in Northern Europe. It shares land borders with Sweden to the west, Russia to the east, Norway to the north, and is defined by the Gulf of B ...

Finland
, the NASA astronaut
Timothy Kopra Timothy Lennart "Tim" Kopra (born April 9, 1963) is an engineer, a Colonel (United States), Colonel in the United States Army and a retired NASA astronaut. He served aboard the International Space Station as a flight engineer for Expedition 20, re ...
, a
Finnish American Finnish Americans ( fi, amerikansuomalaiset, ) comprise Americans Americans are the Citizenship of the United States, citizens and United States nationality law, nationals of the United States of America.; ; ''Ricketts v. Attorney General ...
, has sometimes been referred to as , from the
Finnish Finnish may refer to: * Something or someone from, or related to Finland * Finnish culture * Finnish people or Finns, the primary ethnic group in Finland * Finnish language, the national language of the Finnish people * Finnish cuisine See also

...
word . Across Germanic languages, "astronaut" is used in conjunction with locally-derived words like German's ''Raumfahrer'', Dutch's ''ruimtevaarder'', Swedish's ''rymdfarare'' and Norwegian's ''romfarer''. As of 2020 in the United States, astronaut status is conferred on a person depending on the authorizing agency: * one who flies in a vehicle above for NASA or the military is considered an ''astronaut'' (with no qualifier) * one who flies in a vehicle to the International Space Station in a mission coordinated by NASA and Roscosmos is a ''spaceflight participant'' * one who flies above in a non-NASA vehicle as a crewmember is considered a ''commercial astronaut'' by the Federal Aviation Administration * one who flies to the International Space Station as part of a "privately funded, dedicated commercial spaceflight on a commercial launch vehicle dedicated to the mission ... to conduct approved commercial and marketing activities on the space station (or in a commercial segment attached to the station)" is considered a ''private astronaut'' by NASA (as of 2020, nobody has yet qualified for this status) * a generally-accepted but unofficial term for a paying non-crew passenger who flies a private non-NASA or military vehicles above is a ''space tourist'' (as of 2020, nobody has yet qualified for this status)


Space travel milestones

The first human in space was Soviet
Yuri Gagarin Yuri Alekseyevich Gagarin; Gagarin's first name is sometimes transliterated as ''Yuriy'', ''Youri'', or ''Yury''. (9 March 1934 – 27 March 1968) was a Soviet The Soviet Union,. officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. (U ...
, who was launched on 12 April 1961, aboard
Vostok 1 Vostok 1 (russian: link=no, Восток, ''East'' or ''Orient'' 1) was the first spaceflight of the Vostok programme and the first human spaceflight in history. The Vostok 3KA space capsule was launched from Baikonur Cosmodrome on April 12, 196 ...
and orbited around the Earth for 108 minutes. The first woman in space was Soviet
Valentina Tereshkova Valentina Vladimirovna Tereshkova ( rus, Валентина Владимировна Терешкова, links=no, p=vɐlʲɪnʲˈtʲinə vlɐˈdʲimʲɪrəvnə tʲɪrʲɪʂˈkovə, a=Valentina Tereshkova.ogg; born 6 March 1937) is a member ...

Valentina Tereshkova
, who launched on 16 June 1963, aboard
Vostok 6 Vostok 6 (russian: Восток-6, ''Orient The Orient is a term for the East, traditionally comprising anything that belongs to the Eastern world Eastern world, also known as the East or the Orient The Orient is a term for the East, t ...
and orbited Earth for almost three days.
Alan Shepard Alan Bartlett Shepard Jr. (November 18, 1923 – July 21, 1998) was an American astronaut, United States naval aviator, naval aviator, test pilot, and businessman. In 1961, he became the second man and the first American to travel into space, a ...

Alan Shepard
became the first American and second person in space on 5 May 1961, on a 15-minute sub-orbital flight aboard ''
Freedom 7 Mercury-Redstone 3, or ''Freedom 7'', was the first United States human spaceflight, on May 5, 1961, piloted by astronaut Alan Shepard. It was the first crewed flight of Project Mercury. The project had the ultimate objective of putting an astro ...
''. The first American to orbit the Earth was
John Glenn John Herschel Glenn Jr. (July 18, 1921 – December 8, 2016) was a United States Marine Corps aviator, engineer, astronaut, businessman, and politician. He was the third American in space, and the first American to orbit the Earth, circ ...

John Glenn
, aboard '' Friendship 7'' on 20 February 1962. The first American woman in space was
Sally Ride Sally Kristen Ride (May 26, 1951 – July 23, 2012) was an American astronaut An astronaut (from the Greek "astron" (ἄστρον), meaning "star", and "nautes" (ναύτης), meaning "sailor") is a person trained, equipped, and ...

Sally Ride
, during 's mission
STS-7 STS-7 was NASA The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA; ) is an independent agencies of the United States government, independent agency of the Federal government of the United States, U.S. federal government responsible for ...
, on 18 June 1983. In 1992
Mae Jemison Mae Carol Jemison (born October 17, 1956) is an American engineer Engineers, as practitioners of engineering, are Professional, professionals who Invention, invent, design, analyze, build and test Machine, machines, complex systems, archi ...

Mae Jemison
became the first African American woman to travel in space aboard
STS-47 STS-47 was the 50th Space Shuttle The Space Shuttle is a retired, partially reusable launch system, reusable low Earth orbital spacecraft system operated from 1981 to 2011 by the U.S. NASA, National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NAS ...
. Cosmonaut
Alexei Leonov Alexei Arkhipovich Leonov. (30 May 1934 – 11 October 2019) was a Soviet and Russian cosmonaut An astronaut (from the Greek "astron" (ἄστρον), meaning "star", and "nautes" (ναύτης), meaning "sailor") is a person trained, equ ...

Alexei Leonov
was the first person to conduct an
extravehicular activity Extravehicular activity (EVA) is any activity done by an astronaut or cosmonaut outside a spacecraft 275px, The US Space Shuttle flew 135 times from 1981 to 2011, supporting Spacelab, ''Mir'', the Hubble Space Telescope, and the ISS. (''C ...
(EVA), (commonly called a "spacewalk"), on 18 March 1965, on the Soviet Union's Voskhod 2 mission. This was followed two and a half months later by astronaut Ed White who made the first American EVA on NASA's Gemini 4 mission. The first crewed mission to orbit the Moon,
Apollo 8 Apollo 8 was the first crewed spacecraft File:Space Shuttle Columbia launching.jpg, 275px, The US Space Shuttle flew 135 times from 1981 to 2011, supporting Spacelab, ''Mir'', the Hubble Space Telescope, and the ISS. (''Columbia'' STS-1, mai ...
, included American
William Anders William Alison Anders (born October 17, 1933) is a retired United States Air Force The United States Air Force (USAF) is the Atmosphere of Earth, air military branch, service branch of the United States Armed Forces. It is one of the eight u ...

William Anders
who was born in Hong Kong, making him the first Asian-born astronaut in 1968. The Soviet Union, through its
Intercosmos Interkosmos (russian: Интеркосмос) was a Soviet space program, designed to help the Soviet Union's allies with crewed and uncrewed space missions. The program included the allied east-European states of the Warsaw Pact The Warsa ...
program, allowed people from other "
socialist Socialism is a political Politics (from , ) is the set of activities that are associated with making decisions In psychology, decision-making (also spelled decision making and decisionmaking) is regarded as the Cognition, cognitive pr ...
" (i.e.
Warsaw Pact The Warsaw Treaty Organization (WTO), officially the Treaty of Friendship, Cooperation and Mutual Assistance, commonly known as the Warsaw Pact (WP), was a collective defense Collective security can be understood as a security arrangement ...
and other Soviet-allied) countries to fly on its missions, with the notable exceptions of
France France (), officially the French Republic (french: link=no, République française), is a transcontinental country This is a list of countries located on more than one continent A continent is one of several large landmasses ...

France
and
Austria Austria (, ; german: Österreich ), officially the Republic of Austria (german: Republik Österreich, links=no, ), is a landlocked Eastern Alps, East Alpine country in the southern part of Central Europe. It is composed of nine States o ...

Austria
participating in
Soyuz TM-7 Soyuz TM-7 was the seventh crewed spacecraft to dock with the Soviet Space Station Mir.The mission report is available here: http://www.spacefacts.de/mission/english/soyuz-TM7.htm Its launch in November 1988 represented the start of the fourth l ...
and
Soyuz TM-13 Soyuz TM-13 was the 13th expedition to Mir space station.The mission report is available here: http://www.spacefacts.de/mission/english/soyuz-tm13.htm Lasting from October 1991 to March 1992, the mission included cosmonauts from Austria Aust ...
, respectively. An example is
Czechoslovak , , yi, טשעכאסלאוואקיי, , common_name = Czechoslovakia , life_span = 1918–19391945–1992 , p1 = Austria-Hungary , flag_p1 = Flag of Austria-Hungary 1869-1918.svg , s1 = Czech Republic , flag_s1 = Flag of the Czech Republic.s ...
Vladimír Remek Vladimír Remek (born 26 September 1948) is a Czech politician A politician is a person active in party politics A political party is an organization that coordinates candidate A candidate, or nominee, is the prospective recipient of ...
, the first cosmonaut from a country other than the
Soviet Union The Soviet Union,. officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. (USSR),. was a that spanned during its existence from 1922 to 1991. It was nominally a of multiple national ; in practice and were highly until its final years. The ...
or the
United States The United States of America (U.S.A. or USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US) or America, is a country Continental United States, primarily located in North America. It consists of 50 U.S. state, states, a Washington, D.C., ...

United States
, who flew to space in 1978 on a
Soyuz-U The Soyuz-U launch vehicle was an improved version of the original Soyuz (rocket), Soyuz rocket. Soyuz-U was part of the R-7 (rocket family), R-7 family of rockets based on the R-7 Semyorka missile. Members of this rocket family were designed b ...
rocket.
Rakesh Sharma Wing Commander Rakesh Sharma, AC (born 13 January 1949) is a former Indian Air Force pilot who flew aboard Soyuz T-11 on 3 April 1984 with the Soviet Interkosmos programme. He is the only Indian citizen to travel in space, although there ha ...

Rakesh Sharma
became the first Indian citizen to travel to space. He was launched aboard
Soyuz T-11 Soyuz T-11 was the 6th expedition to Salyut 7, and carried the first Indian Indian or Indians refers to people or things related to India, or to the indigenous people of the Americas, or Aboriginal Australians until the 19th century. People ...
, on 2 April 1984. On 23 July 1980, Pham Tuan of Vietnam became the first Asian people, Asian in space when he flew aboard Soyuz 37. Also in 1980, Cubans, Cuban Arnaldo Tamayo Méndez became the first person of Hispanic and black African descent to fly in space, and in 1983, Guion Bluford became the first African American to fly into space. In April 1985, Taylor Wang became the first ethnic Chinese person in space. The first person born in Africa to fly in space was Patrick Baudry (France), in 1985. In 1985, Saudi Arabian Sultan Salman al-Saud, Prince Sultan Bin Salman Bin AbdulAziz Al-Saud became the first Arab Muslim astronaut in space. In 1988, Abdul Ahad Mohmand became the first Afghanistan, Afghan to reach space, spending nine days aboard the ''Mir'' space station. With the increase of seats on the Space Shuttle, the U.S. began taking international astronauts. In 1983, Ulf Merbold of West Germany became the first non-US citizen to fly in a US spacecraft. In 1984, Marc Garneau became the first of eight Canadian astronauts to fly in space (through 2010). In 1985, Rodolfo Neri Vela became the first Mexican-born person in space. In 1991, Helen Sharman became the first Briton to fly in space. In 2002, Mark Shuttleworth became the first citizen of an African country to fly in space, as a paying spaceflight participant. In 2003, Ilan Ramon became the first Israeli to fly in space, although he died during a Space Shuttle Columbia disaster, re-entry accident. On 15 October 2003,
Yang Liwei Yang Liwei () (born 21 June 1965) is a major general, military pilot, and China National Space Administration astronaut An astronaut (from the Greek "astron" (ἄστρον), meaning "star", and "nautes" (ναύτης), meaning "sailor") is ...

Yang Liwei
became China's first astronaut on the
Shenzhou 5 Shenzhou 5 () was the first human spaceflight mission of the Chinese space program, launched on 15 October 2003. The Shenzhou spacecraft was launched on a Long March 2F launch vehicle. There had been four previous flights of uncrewed Shen ...

Shenzhou 5
spacecraft. On 30 May 2020, Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken became the first astronauts to launch on a private crewed spacecraft, SpaceX Dragon 2, Crew Dragon.


Age milestones

The youngest person to fly in space is Gherman Titov, who was 25 years old when he flew Vostok 2. (Titov was also the first person to suffer space sickness). The oldest person who has flown in space was
John Glenn John Herschel Glenn Jr. (July 18, 1921 – December 8, 2016) was a United States Marine Corps aviator, engineer, astronaut, businessman, and politician. He was the third American in space, and the first American to orbit the Earth, circ ...

John Glenn
, who was 77 when he flew on STS-95.


Duration and distance milestones

438 days is the longest time spent in space, by Russian Valeri Polyakov. As of 2006, the most spaceflights by an individual astronaut is seven, a record held by both Jerry L. Ross and Franklin Chang-Diaz. The farthest distance from Earth an astronaut has traveled was , when
Jim Lovell James Arthur Lovell Jr. (; born March 25, 1928) is an American retired astronaut, naval aviator, test pilot and mechanical engineer. In 1968, as command module pilot of Apollo 8, he became, with Frank Borman and William Anders, one of the fi ...

Jim Lovell
, Jack Swigert, and Fred Haise went around the Moon during the Apollo 13 emergency.


Civilian and non-government milestones

The first civilian in space was
Valentina Tereshkova Valentina Vladimirovna Tereshkova ( rus, Валентина Владимировна Терешкова, links=no, p=vɐlʲɪnʲˈtʲinə vlɐˈdʲimʲɪrəvnə tʲɪrʲɪʂˈkovə, a=Valentina Tereshkova.ogg; born 6 March 1937) is a member ...

Valentina Tereshkova
aboard
Vostok 6 Vostok 6 (russian: Восток-6, ''Orient The Orient is a term for the East, traditionally comprising anything that belongs to the Eastern world Eastern world, also known as the East or the Orient The Orient is a term for the East, t ...
(she also became the first woman in space on that mission). Tereshkova was only honorarily inducted into the USSR's Air Force, which did not accept female pilots at that time. A month later, Joseph Albert Walker became the first American civilian in space when his X-15 Flight 90 crossed the line, qualifying him by the international definition of spaceflight. Walker had joined the US Army Air Force but was not a member during his flight. The first people in space who had never been a member of any country's armed forces were both Konstantin Feoktistov and Boris Yegorov aboard Voskhod 1. The first non-governmental space traveler was Byron K. Lichtenberg, a researcher from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology who flew on STS-9 in 1983. In December 1990, Toyohiro Akiyama became the first paying space traveler and the first journalist in space for Tokyo Broadcasting System, a visit to Mir as part of an estimated $12 million (USD) deal with a Japanese TV station, although at the time, the term used to refer to Akiyama was "Research Cosmonaut". Akiyama suffered severe space adaptation syndrome, space sickness during his mission, which affected his productivity. The first self-funded space tourist was Dennis Tito on board the Russian spacecraft Soyuz TM-3 on 28 April 2001.


Self-funded travelers

The first person to fly on an entirely privately funded mission was Mike Melvill, piloting SpaceShipOne flight 15P on a suborbital journey, although he was a test pilot employed by Scaled Composites and not an actual paying space tourist. Seven others have paid the Russian Space Agency to fly into space: # Dennis Tito (American): 28 April – 6 May 2001 (International Space Station, ISS) # Mark Shuttleworth (South African): 25 April – 5 May 2002 (ISS) # Gregory Olsen (American): 1–11 October 2005 (ISS) # Anousheh Ansari (Iranian / American): 18–29 September 2006 (ISS) # Charles Simonyi (Hungarian / American): 7–21 April 2007 (ISS), 26 March – 8 April 2009 (ISS) # Richard Garriott (British / American): 12–24 October 2008 (ISS) # Guy Laliberté (Canadian): 30 September 2009 – 11 October 2009 (ISS)


Training

The first NASA astronauts were selected for training in 1959. Early in the space program, military jet test piloting and engineering training were often cited as prerequisites for selection as an astronaut at NASA, although neither John Glenn nor Scott Carpenter (of the Mercury Seven) had any university degree, in engineering or any other discipline at the time of their selection. Selection was initially limited to military pilots. The earliest astronauts for both the US and the USSR tended to be fighter aircraft, jet fighter pilots, and were often test pilots. Once selected, NASA astronauts go through twenty months of training in a variety of areas, including training for
extravehicular activity Extravehicular activity (EVA) is any activity done by an astronaut or cosmonaut outside a spacecraft 275px, The US Space Shuttle flew 135 times from 1981 to 2011, supporting Spacelab, ''Mir'', the Hubble Space Telescope, and the ISS. (''C ...
in a facility such as NASA's Neutral Buoyancy Laboratory. Astronauts-in-training (astronaut candidates) may also experience short periods of weightlessness (Micro-g environment, microgravity) in an aircraft called the "Vomit Comet," the nickname given to a pair of modified KC-135s (retired in 2000 and 2004, respectively, and replaced in 2005 with a McDonnell Douglas C-9, C-9) which perform Parabola, parabolic flights. Astronauts are also required to accumulate a number of flight hours in high-performance jet aircraft. This is mostly done in T-38 Talon, T-38 jet aircraft out of Ellington Field, due to its proximity to the Johnson Space Center. Ellington Field is also where the Shuttle Training Aircraft is maintained and developed, although most flights of the aircraft are conducted from Edwards Air Force Base. Astronauts in training must learn how to control and fly the Space Shuttle and, it is vital that they are familiar with the International Space Station so they know what they must do when they get there.


NASA candidacy requirements

* The candidate must be a citizen of the United States. * The candidate must complete a master's degree in a STEM field, including engineering, biological science, physical science, computer science or mathematics. * The candidate must have at least two years of related professional experience obtained after degree completion or at least 1,000 hours pilot-in-command time on jet aircraft. * The candidate must be able to pass the NASA long-duration flight astronaut physical. * The candidate must also have skills in leadership, teamwork and communications. The master's degree requirement can also be met by: * Two years of work toward a doctoral program in a related science, technology, engineering or math field. * A completed Doctor of Medicine or Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine degree. * Completion of a nationally recognized test pilot school program.


Mission Specialist Educator

* Applicants must have a bachelor's degree with teaching experience, including work at the kindergarten through twelfth grade level. An advanced degree, such as a master's degree or a doctoral degree, is not required, but is strongly desired. Educator Astronaut Project, Mission Specialist Educators, or "Educator Astronauts", were first selected in 2004, and as of 2007, there are three NASA Educator astronauts: Joseph M. Acaba, Richard R. Arnold, and Dorothy Metcalf-Lindenburger. Barbara Morgan, selected as back-up teacher to Christa McAuliffe in 1985, is considered to be the first Educator astronaut by the media, but she trained as a mission specialist. The Educator Astronaut program is a successor to the Teacher in Space program from the 1980s.


Health risks of space travel

Astronauts are susceptible to a variety of health risks including decompression sickness, barotrauma, immunodeficiencies, loss of bone and muscle, loss of eyesight, orthostatic intolerance, sleep disturbances, and radiation injury. A variety of large scale medical studies are being conducted in space via the National Space Biomedical Research Institute (NSBRI) to address these issues. Prominent among these is the Advanced Diagnostic Ultrasound in Microgravity Study in which astronauts (including former ISS commanders Leroy Chiao and
Gennady Padalka Gennady Ivanovich Padalka (russian: Гeннадий Иванович Падалка; born 21 June 1958 in Krasnodar Krasnodar (; rus, Краснода́р, p=krəsnɐˈdar) is the largest city and the administrative centre of Krasnodar Krai. T ...
) perform ultrasound scans under the guidance of remote experts to diagnose and potentially treat hundreds of medical conditions in space. This study's techniques are now being applied to cover professional and Olympic Games, Olympic sports injuries as well as ultrasound performed by non-expert operators in medical and high school students. It is anticipated that remote guided ultrasound will have application on Earth in emergency and rural health, rural care situations, where access to a trained physician is often rare. A 2006 Space Shuttle experiment found that ''Salmonella typhimurium'', a bacterium that can cause food poisoning, became more virulent when cultivated in space. More recently, in 2017, bacteria were found to be more resistant to antibiotics and to thrive in the near-weightlessness of space. Microorganisms have been observed to survive the vacuum of outer space. On 31 December 2012, a
NASA The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA; ) is an independent agency A regulatory agency or regulatory authority, is a Public benefit corporation Public-benefit corporation is a term that has different meanings in differen ...

NASA
-supported study reported that
human spaceflight Human spaceflight (also referred to as manned spaceflight or crewed spaceflight) is spaceflight with a crew or passengers aboard a spacecraft, the spacecraft being operated directly by the onboard human crew. Spacecraft can also be telerobotic ...

human spaceflight
may harm the brain and accelerate the onset of Alzheimer's disease. In October 2015, the NASA Office of Inspector General issued a Effect of spaceflight on the human body, health hazards report related to human space exploration, space exploration, including a human mission to Mars. Over the last decade, flight surgeons and scientists at NASA have seen a pattern of vision problems in astronauts on long-duration space missions. The syndrome, known as Visual impairment due to intracranial pressure, visual impairment intracranial pressure (VIIP), has been reported in nearly two-thirds of space explorers after long periods spent aboard the International Space Station (ISS). On 2 November 2017, scientists reported that significant changes in the position and structure of the brain have been found in astronauts who have taken Human spaceflight, trips in space, based on Magnetic resonance imaging, MRI studies. Astronauts who took longer space trips were associated with greater brain changes. Being in space can be physiologically deconditioning on the body. It can affect the otolith organs and adaptive capabilities of the central nervous system. Zero gravity and cosmic rays can cause many implications for astronauts. In October 2018,
NASA The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA; ) is an independent agency A regulatory agency or regulatory authority, is a Public benefit corporation Public-benefit corporation is a term that has different meanings in differen ...

NASA
-funded researchers found that lengthy journeys into
outer space Outer space, commonly shortened to space, is the expanse that exists beyond Earth Earth is the third planet from the Sun and the only astronomical object known to harbour and support life. 29.2% of Earth's surface is land consisting ...
, including travel to the Mars, planet Mars, may substantially damage the Gastrointestinal tract, gastrointestinal tissues of astronauts. The studies support earlier work that found such journeys could significantly damage the brains of astronauts, and ageing, age them prematurely. Researchers in 2018 reported, after detecting the presence on the International Space Station (ISS) of five ''Enterobacter, Enterobacter bugandensis'' bacterial strains, none pathogenic to humans, that microorganisms on ISS should be carefully monitored to continue assuring a medically healthy environment for astronauts. A study by Russian scientists published in April 2019 stated that astronauts facing space radiation could face temporary hindrance of their memory centers. While this does not affect their intellectual capabilities, it temporarily hinders formation of new cells in brain's memory centers. The study conducted by Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology (MIPT) concluded this after they observed that mice exposed to neutron and gamma radiation did not impact the rodents' intellectual capabilities. A 2020 clinical trial, study conducted on the brains of eight male Russian cosmonauts after they returned from long stays aboard the International Space Station showed that long-duration human spaceflight, spaceflight causes many physiological adaptions, including macro- and microstructure, microstructural changes. While scientists still know little about the effects of spaceflight on brain structure, this study showed that space travel can lead to new fine motor skill, motor skills (dexterity), but also slightly weaker visual perception, vision, both of which could possibly be long lasting. It was the first study to provide clear evidence of neuroplasticity, sensorimotor neuroplasticity, which is the brain's ability to change through growth and reorganization.


Food and drink

An astronaut on the International Space Station requires about mass of food per meal each day (inclusive of about packaging mass per meal). Space Shuttle astronauts worked with nutritionists to select menus that appealed to their individual tastes. Five months before flight, menus were selected and analyzed for nutritional content by the shuttle dietician. Foods are tested to see how they will react in a reduced gravity environment. Caloric requirements are determined using a basal energy expenditure (BEE) formula. On Earth, the average American uses about of water every day. On board the ISS astronauts limit water use to only about per day.


Insignia

In Russia, cosmonauts are awarded Pilot-Cosmonaut of the Russian Federation upon completion of their missions, often accompanied with the award of Hero of the Russian Federation. This follows the practice established in the USSR where cosmonauts were usually awarded the title Hero of the Soviet Union. At NASA, those who complete astronaut candidate training receive a silver Astronaut Badge#NASA Astronaut Pins, lapel pin. Once they have flown in space, they receive a gold pin. U.S. astronauts who also have active-duty military status receive a special qualification badge, known as the Astronaut Badge, after participation on a spaceflight. The United States Air Force also presents an Astronaut Badge to its pilots who exceed in altitude.


Deaths

, eighteen astronauts (fourteen men and four women) have lost their lives during four space flights. By nationality, thirteen were American (including one born in India), four were Russian (
Soviet Union The Soviet Union,. officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. (USSR),. was a that spanned during its existence from 1922 to 1991. It was nominally a of multiple national ; in practice and were highly until its final years. The ...
), and one was Israeli. , eleven people (all men) have lost their lives training for spaceflight: eight Americans and three Russians. Six of these were in crashes of training jet aircraft, one drowned during water recovery training, and four were due to fires in pure oxygen environments. Astronaut David Scott left a memorial consisting of a statuette titled ''Fallen Astronaut'' on the surface of the Moon during his 1971 Apollo 15 mission, along with a list of the names of eight of the astronauts and six cosmonauts known at the time to have died in service. The Space Mirror Memorial, which stands on the grounds of the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex, is maintained by the Astronauts Memorial Foundation and commemorates the lives of the men and women who have died during spaceflight and during training in the space programs of the United States. In addition to twenty NASA career astronauts, the memorial includes the names of an
X-15 The North American X-15 is a hypersonic In aerodynamics, a hypersonic speed is one that greatly exceeds the speed of sound, often stated as starting at speeds of speed of sound, Mach 5 and above. The precise Mach number at which a craft ca ...

X-15
test pilot, a U.S. Air Force officer who died while training for a then-classified military space program, and a civilian spaceflight participant.


See also


References


External links

*
NASA: How to become an astronaut 101





collectSPACE: Astronaut appearances calendar

spacefacts Spacefacts.de

Manned astronautics: facts and figures


{{Authority control Astronauts, Science occupations 1959 introductions