May 22, 2022

Astronauts (commonly called astronauts or cosmonauts) are people who have undergone training in the human space flight program to lead, fly aircraft, or become crew members of a spacecraft. The term "astronaut" is also sometimes used to refer specifically to astronauts from the United States or friendly countries, as opposed to a cosmonaut from the Soviet Union/Russia. The first cosmonaut was Yuri Gagarin. Since 2003, the term taikonaut (though not an official term for the Chinese government) has been known, for astronauts from China. The first taikonaut was Yang Liwei. The first astronauts, in both the US and the Soviet Union, were usually fighter pilots (usually test pilots) with a military background. Military astronauts usually receive a special qualification mark, known in the US as the Astronaut Badge after completing training and following a flight into space. More than 32 countries have sent astronauts into space. To date (April 2007), nineteen astronauts have died on their voyage missions, and at least ten astronauts have died in training accidents on the ground.

International astronauts

Until the late 1970s only Americans and Soviets were active astronauts. In 1976 the Soviets started the Intercosmos program with a group of 6 astronauts from other socialist countries, followed by a second group training in 1978. At about the same time in 1978 the European Space Agency selected 4 astronauts to train for the Spacelab mission. their first in NASA's space shuttle. In 1980 the French began their election of astronauts (they were called "spacenots"), followed by Germany in 1982, Canada in 1983, Japan in 1985, Italy in 1988 and Malaysia in 2007.


The first human to go into space was Yuri Gagarin on April 12, 1961 on a Vostok 1. Alan Shepard became an American and lead astronaut into space on May 5, 1961. The first American woman to go into space was Sally Ride who boarded the Chalenger spacecraft on the STS-7 mission on June 18, 1983. The first mission to go into lunar orbit was Apollo 8, guided by William Anders. He was born in Hong Kong and became the first Asian to become an astronaut on October 15, 2003. Yang Liwei became the first Chinese person to become an astronaut on the Shenzhou 5 aircraft. Russia's implementation of the Intercosmos program has allowed many people from socialist countries to go into space. For example, Vladimir Remek became the first Czech person to go into space on a Russian rocket, the Soyuz. On 23 July 1980, Pham Tuan became the first Vietnamese person to become a Southeast Asian person to space on a Soyuz 37. In 1980, a Cuban named Arnaldo Tamayo Méndez became the first person of African descent into space. While the first African-born to space is Patrick Baudry.

Space Call

The following is a list of astronaut calls from various countries:


Astronaut is a call for astronauts by the United States. The first modern use of the term "astronaut" was used by writer Neil R. Jones in his 1930 short story "The Death's Head Meteor". The first formally recognized use of the term astronautics in the scientific community was the establishment of the annual International Astronautical Congress in 1950, and the founding of the subsequent International Astronautical Federation the following year.


Kosmonaut (космонавт, kosmonavt) was a call for astronauts by the Soviet Union, later continued by Russia