Astronaut PNG Transparent Images

Submitted by on Oct 11, 2020

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An astronaut or cosmonaut is a person trained by a human space flight program to command, pilot, or work as a member of a spacecraft crew. While generally, these conditions are reserved for professional space travelers, sometimes the conditions apply to everyone who travels into space, including scientists, politicians, journalists, and tourists. The root naut comes from the Greek word nautes, which means sailor.

Until 2002, astronauts were sponsored and trained exclusively by governments, either by the military or civilian space agencies. With the suborbital flight of the privately funded SpaceShipOne in 2004, a new category of astronauts was created: the commercial astronaut. The criteria for what constitutes human flight into space vary, with some emphasis on the point at which the atmosphere becomes so tenuous that centrifugal force, rather than aerodynamic force, accounts for a significant portion of the weight of the flight object. The Fédération Aéronautique Internationale (FAI) Sporting Code for Astronautics only recognizes flights that exceed the Karman Line at an altitude of 100 kilometers (62 miles). In the United States, professional, military, and commercial astronauts traveling above an altitude of 50 miles (80 km) are awarded astronaut wings.


As of November 17, 2016, 552 people from 36 countries have reached an altitude of 100 km (62 miles) or more, of which 549 have reached low Earth orbit or more. Of these, 24 people traveled beyond the Earth’s low orbit or into lunar orbit, the surface of the Moon, or, in one case, circumnavigated the Moon. Three out of 24 – Jim Lovell, John Young, and Eugene Cernan – did it twice.

As of November 17, 2016, according to the US definition, 558 people are classified as reaching space more than 50 miles above 80 km above sea level. Of the eight X-15 pilots who exceed 50 miles (80 km), only one exceeds 100 kilometers (about 62 miles). Space travelers spent more than 41,790 man-days (114.5 man-years) in space, including more than 100 days of astronauts in space. According to data for 2016, Gennady Padalka, who spent 879 days in space, has the longest accumulation time in space. Peggy A. Whitson holds the record for the longest time a woman has spent in space – 377 days.

In 1959, when the United States and the Soviet Union were planning but not yet launching humans into space, NASA Administrator T. Keith Glennan and his Deputy Administrator, Dr. Hugh Dryden, discussed whether the crew of the spacecraft should be called astronauts or cosmonauts, Dryden preferred. Astronauts “on the grounds that the flights would occur in space (close to space) and the” Astro “prefix assumes a flight to the stars. Most members of NASA’s space task force preferred the term “astronaut,” which has survived through common usage as the preferred American term. When the Soviet Union launched the first man, Yuri Gagarin, into space in 1961, they chose the term which anglicizes to “cosmonaut.”

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