May 17, 2022

An astronaut (or astronaut) is a person who has been trained in space flight. It can command, pilot or be a member of the spacecraft crew. Today, the term is mostly used for professional space travelers, but often everyone who has traveled into space is called a cosmonaut (scientists, politicians, tourists). The first cosmonaut was Yuri Gagarin. The first woman cosmonaut was Valentina Terješkova. "Astronaut" technically refers to all people who travel to space, regardless of nationality or affiliation; however, astronauts from Russia or the Soviet Union are usually known instead as cosmonauts (from the Russian "cosmos", meaning "space", which is also borrowed from Greek) to distinguish them from American or NATO-related space travelers. The relatively recent development of manned spaceflights by China has led to the rise of the term tycoon (from the Mandarin "tycoon" (太空, meaning "space"), although its use is somewhat informal and the origin is unclear. In mainland China, astronauts of the Astronaut Corps of the People's Liberation Army and their foreign counterparts are officially called hangtjenjuen (航天 员, meaning "celestial navigator" or literally "sky navigation personnel") and "astronauts" in English.


The criteria for what constitutes human space flight vary, with some focus on the point where the atmosphere becomes so thin that centrifugal force, rather than aerodynamic force, carries a significant portion of the weight of a flying object. The International Aeronautical Federation's (FAI) Astronautics Sports Code only recognizes flights that cross the Karman Line, at an altitude of 100 km (62 mi). In the United States, professional, military, and commercial astronauts traveling at 50 m (80 km) above sea level receive astronaut wings. According to data from November 17, 2016, 552 people from 36 countries reached 100 km (62 mi) or more above sea level, of which 549 reached low Earth orbit or beyond. Of these, 24 people traveled outside the low Earth orbit, either to the lunar orbit, the lunar surface, or, in one case, the loop around the moon. Three of the 24 - Jim Lovell, John Young and Eugene Sernan - did it twice. According to data from