Talk:List of astronauts by year of selection

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Just a quick note[edit]

"Astronaut" is in the US what Russians call "cosmonaut", what Chinese call "Taikonauts" etc.... Is this a bias?

(response to apparently unsigned query) In articles it would be considered Bias to call Cosmonauts, Taikonauts, and Astronauts by their incorrect name. Use of the Neutral term 'Crew' I have found works well in articles such as the International Space Station. When referring to unique individuals, the individual terms should be used. For example, a NASA Astronaut, and a Russian Cosmonaut were on the ISS as a skeleton crew after the NASA shuttle disaster. The Crew of 2 performed limited tasks on the ISS during that time. The Crew of the ISS was expanded to 6, and after launch of the MLM in 2012, an extra crew member will be able to join the existing crew, making 7 in total. European Space Agency Crew members and Americans are normally called Astronauts. Soviet Bloc Crew are normally called Cosmonauts.

In regards to this articles title, a single accessible word has been chosen by it's author(s) as the word most commonly understood by it's readers. This is the English Wikipedia article and so the word Astronaut is used as it is the most easily understood one word term for the target readers. On the Russian Wikipedia article here the word Cosmonaut is used for the entire list including Neil Armstrong, as it is an article for Russian-speaking readers.Penyulap talk 14:01, 23 June 2011 (UTC)

The use of images in this article[edit]

The use of randomly selected images degrades the quality of this article, and / or the use individual editor's favorite Astronaut's image is not possible in this article, it violates WP:Neutrality, this article lists more than 300 individuals and if all 300+ images were included in order to keep it Neutral, it would cause technical problems for some browsers and users with slow internet connections. The use of a limited number of images according to a logical or popular order is possible, such as first man and first woman in space, first person on the moon, and so forth.

Please state if you want to keep or remove these two images. Penyulap talk 14:01, 23 June 2011 (UTC)

Remove These two do not belong because they are not especially notable (in a neutral sense), despite Ramon's death on the Columbia (WP:MEMORIAL). It would make sense to include three historically noteable: Gagarin (first in space), Tereshkova (first woman) and Armstrong (first on the Moon). A fourth would be the first person on Mars, when and if that ever happens. JustinTime55 (talk) 15:50, 24 June 2011 (UTC)

TFNG: NASA Group 8[edit]

Anyone got a source for Group 8 being called TFNG? That's not usually what FNG means. Whisperednumber 12:33, 7 February 2007 (UTC)

I'm going to remove it until someone gets a source for that.Whisperednumber 12:37, 7 February 2007 (UTC)
Geez, give me more than four minutes to respond! Group 8 was called TFNG, for "Thirty Five New Guys". Yes, it also stands for the military-based obscenity but that was the polite term. See, Mike Mullane interview, class patch at, etc. -- Wizardimps 07:45, 8 February 2007 (UTC)

Malaysian program information[edit]

With all due respect to Rillian, whom I really do respect and think is a great editor, I don't agree with the removal of the Malaysian information, nor with the terminology of "Spaceflight Participant" in this list, and here is why: This is a list of astronauts, and the positions they were selected for, and trained for, i.e. Mission Specialist, Pilot, etc. It is not a list of the position they held when they flew. Now obviously Malaysia is not training these people to be "Spaceflight participants", and there are many reliable sources that verify Shukor was a full-fledged astronaut, not a spaceflight participant, NASA used that term because Shukor did not specifically fly as an astronaut position for his flight, not that he wasn't an astronaut (think John Glenn's last flight). Also, for new classes, such as Canada's first class of astronauts, the X Prize, and other classes throughout this article, commentary is given to help the reader understand the item of interest. Malaysia's new program obviously deserves a mention, just as the others have had. I'm reinstating the section; Shukor is a fully trained astronaut, who was selected as an astronaut, trained as an astronaut, but just happened to fly not having any official astronaut duties. That doesn't make him any less of an astronaut, and for the purposes of this list, Spaceflight participant is an incorrect term. ArielGold 05:25, 28 October 2007 (UTC)

The structure of this page (which is titled List of Astronauts after all) is 1. Date + Group Name + Agency followed by 2. a list of people in that group followed on some instances by 3. commentary of notable items related to the group (e.g. everyone on this group flew in space at least twice). The only times we list titles/ranks/positions is when Item 2 (the list of people) is very long and some of the people where chosen to train for specific roles, e.g. Pilots versus Mission Specialists on the Space Shuttle. Regarding commentary, as this is a list and not an article per se, any commentary should be very brief and link to articles that provide the details. Since the Malaysian group all trained for the same position, no title is needed. I've made some edits that follow these practices and appreciate your comments. Rillian 13:25, 28 October 2007 (UTC)
Shukor is an astronaut by all definition of the word, so I'm not sure why you felt that your first statement had to say "it is a list of astronauts, after all". As for removing the fact that this was the first group selected by the Malaysian Astronaut group, see 1983 in this list, and the exact same type of thing was done with the first group of Canadian candidates, so I don't see how it is unreasonable to put a note saying this was the first group of candidates selected for the Malaysian space program. Correct me if I'm wrong, and please don't take this negatively, but you seem to have an issue with acknowledging the Malaysian astronaut program, and Shukor himself as astronauts (which is what the word Angkasawan means). I'm not biased one way or another, but I do think it does the country, program, and the participants a disservice to deny this recognition across multiple articles. ~*Shrug*~ ArielGold 13:42, 28 October 2007 (UTC)
My point about this being a list of astronauts is that everyone on the list is presumed to an astronaut. That's why the list doesn't repeat the word "Astronaut" in front of the groups of names -- it's redundant. As to the use of the word Angkasawan -- that's a Malaysian word for astronaut and this is the English Wikipedia. We don't use Raumfahrer with the German astronauts on this list.Rillian 13:46, 28 October 2007 (UTC)
Ahh, okay I see what you're saying, I was confused, lol. Sorry! ArielGold 13:52, 28 October 2007 (UTC)
Also, a lot of the commentary and citations you had added were defending the stance that the people in the Angkasawan group are real astronauts. This had been discussed extensively on the Angkasawan and Shukor Talk pages and addressed on those articles and I don't think it necessary to include that type of commentary on this list. Rillian 13:54, 28 October 2007 (UTC)
That's fine, I don't have either one of those pages on my watch list, so I'm not sure what discussions have been going on, but I know that there was a ton of edit warring over the issue, so I added the references so it was clear that he was an astronaut, even if he has not yet flown as one. No big deal, thanks Rillian! ArielGold 14:07, 28 October 2007 (UTC)

Mercury 13[edit]

Why aren't the Mercury 13 on this list? (talk) 09:10, 28 September 2008 (UTC)

Because they were not "selected for training for a human spaceflight program" as it specifies in the first sentence. This was the brainchild of a doctor in charge of the medical testing, which NASA never took seriously. Though these women flew propellor-driven (subsonic) aircraft, they had absolutely no experience flying high-accelleration supersonic aircraft, which NASA considered essential. (Try reading Mercury 13. JustinTime55 (talk) 21:55, 4 May 2011 (UTC)


Why are cosmonauts listed here as they are not astronauts? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 06:58, 21 December 2008 (UTC)

In English, cosmonaut is a synonym for astronaut. See Astronaut for more details. Rillian (talk) 13:29, 21 December 2008 (UTC)
Hi - in English these are separate words, and neither is a synonym for the other. Cosmonauts are those who have travelled on the Soviet / Russian space programme whilst astronauts are those on the US. This is actually discussed in the Wikipedia article you have referenced. The exception to this recognised duality is the US where astronaut is assumed to be universal (pardon the almost pun). It would seem this is another article suffering from the very common Wikipedia US-centric view. I would suggest the article is split into two seperate aricles: astronauts & cosmonauts. At the absolute minimum some reference is needed to the correct description of those on the Soviet / Russian space programme. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 08:47, 22 December 2008 (UTC)
They certainly are synonyms in English. As the opening of the article states "astronaut or cosmonaut is a person trained by a human spaceflight program to command, pilot, or serve as a crew member of a spacecraft." The more common of the two words in English documents is astronaut and can be applied to all people trained by by human spaceflight programs. As the Astronaut article explains, there is a convention (but not a universal one) that people employed by the Russian space program are referred to as cosmonauts in English texts. However, the more general term is astronaut. If there were a picture of Neil Armstrong, Norm Thagard, Jean-Pierre Haigneré, and Viktor Mikhaylovich Afanasyev, the caption "four astronauts" would be fine while the caption "one astronaut, one astronaut who also flew on a Russian spacecraft and could be called a cosmonaut, one spationaut, and one cosmonaut" would be needlessly wordy and unnecessary as those words are synonyms. Rillian (talk) 20:08, 22 December 2008 (UTC)
As noted previously Cosmonauts and astronaut are synonyms only in the US whereas other countries recognise the difference. Why can this use not be acknowledged in this article, which is available to the world and not just the US? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:54, 23 December 2008 (UTC)
This is not the US Wiki, this is the English-language Wiki. In English, the most common word for a professional space traveler is "astronaut". When naming articles, we seek to use the most common, most inclusive, most descriptive terms, hence the title "List of astronauts by selection". Rillian (talk) 23:58, 23 December 2008 (UTC)
"we seek to use the most common." But not the correct one? Very strange.
"we seek to use.. most descriptive terms." Which is not always astronaut. For people on Soviet / Russian space programmes this would be cosmonaut.
"This is not the US Wiki." Then why is only US usage being used here? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:46, 24 December 2008 (UTC)
Please provide citations for your claim that only "US usage is being used". Rillian (talk) 15:37, 24 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Use of cosmonaut in the UK [1], [[2]], [3]
  • Use of cosmonaut in New Zealand [4], [5],
  • Reference to seperate US and Soviet / Russian usage, this from New Zealand [6]
  • Another reference to seperate US and Soviet / Russian usage, this time from Australia [7]
  • Use of cosmonaut for non-Soviet / non-Russian but who travelled on their programmes [8]

—Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 16:26, 27 December 2008

The majority of your references demonstrate that when referring specifically to Russian astronauts, the term cosmonaut is sometimes used by English media. That's not in question. The request for citations was in relation to your claim that the use of the word "astronaut" as a general category for space travelers is "US specific" and by naming this article "List of Astronauts", the title is demonstrating a US bias. Contrary to your claim, here's a example of British media using astronaut generically to refer to any professional space traveler [9] and here's one from South Africa [10]. Rillian (talk) 14:43, 28 December 2008 (UTC)
Hi - I do not dispute that astronaut is used by some for all space travellers. But the fact remains that its use is effectively universal in the US whilst other English speaking countries recognise the difference between cosmonaut and astronaut: this is supported by the citations given. There is no reason which I can see for this dual usage to be ignored. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:03, 29 December 2008 (UTC)
Many US sources recognize the difference and so does this article. This English article uses the most common English collective noun for a group of space travelers as the Title, but then clearly and consistently refers to Russian flyers throughout the article as cosmonauts. The "dual usage" is most certainly not ignored. This article is a list of all astronauts, regardless of which country or space program they were part of. Rillian (talk) 13:09, 29 December 2008 (UTC)

Chinese Group 2[edit]

This list is missing Chinese Group 2. (talk) 21:52, 16 June 2012 (UTC)

Yelena Dobrokvashina[edit]

Some Yelena Dobrokvashina info, if anyone wants to write an article... -- (talk) 19:16, 16 June 2013 (UTC)

New article: List of Commercial Astronauts?[edit]

This article has had a lot of "information creep" recently, good information but outside the scope of what this article is supposed to have, which as stated "this article only lists professional astronauts". The problem is that there are a lot of non-professional astronauts in the article now. By "non-professional" I mean those who were chosen to have a career as an astronaut (in the generic sense), not those who were chosen to fly a single mission, whether that was as a Payload Specialist on the Space Shuttle, an Intercosmos flight aboard a Soyuz, or something similar.

For example, the article lists these (not intended to be inclusive):

  • the 1954-68 X-15 pilots, some of whom did get astronaut wings but were not chosen to fly in space
  • the 1976 and 1978 Intercosmos groups, who were chosen by their governments to fly a single mission
  • the 1978 ESA Spacelab Payload Specialists group, who were chosen as Payload Specialists (and outside the scope of this article)
  • the 1979 and 1982 Manned Spaceflight Engineer group, who were chosen by the US military as Payload Specialists
  • the 1985 ISRO Insat Group, chosen by the Indian government to be Payload Specialists
  • the 1989 ATLAS Payload Specialists
  • the 1997 Israeli Shuttle Payload Specialist group
  • the 2006 Angkasawan Group, chosen to be Malaysia's first space flier on a single mission to the International Space Station
  • etc.

I think these should be broken out into a separate article, maybe List of Payload Specialists. I know the name is Shuttle-specific, but we could define it for the purposes of the article as "someone who was selected to train and fly for a single mission, regardless of whether that person flew again". That covers all US and international Shuttle Payload Specialist selections, all Intercosmos groups, and any other international (non-US/non-Russian) groups. For instance, Marc Garneau was originally selected by Canada as a Payload Specialist in 1983 but later assigned to NASA as an international Mission Specialist in 1992, so he would only appear on this page with his NASA group and not with his PS group.

I'm also not quite sure what to do about the Commercial Astronaut groups. Virgin Galactic, for example, has selected a number of pilots, but they're professional pilots who will enter space, not professional astronauts. Similarly, the 2002 Canadian Arrow group was selected for a similar purpose but their project didn't succeed. A new List of Commercial Astronauts maybe? People selected to fly SpaceX's Dragon or Sierra Nevada's DreamChaser, on the other hand, will be not only piloting the spacecraft but also living and working in space aboard the International Space Station, so they'd be both "professional" and "commercial".

The bottom of the article, under the Comments section, is just a mess and most of it doesn't belong here. However, there is some information (like Teachers in Space, Citizens in Space, Astronauts for Hire, and others) that could get lumped with the Commercial page. --Wizardimps (talk) 02:43, 25 June 2013 (UTC)

OK, this is really getting out of hand. If nobody has any objection after a couple of weeks, then I will split this page up into the following pages:
  • List of professional astronauts by year of selection (for those chosen by a nation-sponsored group to train and fly on any mission in the program for which they work)
  • List of test pilot astronauts by year of selection (for those flying research or military aircraft - not specifically-designed spacecraft - capable of reaching the "space" altitude, or assigned to military space programs such as MOL, Dyna-Soar, and X-15)
  • List of guest astronauts by year of selection (for those chosen to train and fly on a specific nation-sponsored mission, such as NASA's Payload Specialists and those flying under Russia/USSR's Intercosmos)
  • List of commercial astronauts by year of selection (for those chosen to train and fly on a private commercial spacecraft as a crewmember and not passenger, e.g. Astronauts4Hire, Virgin Galactic pilots, Canadian Arrow, etc. - see Private spaceflight)
  • List of tourist astronauts by year of selection (for those who have paid for the opportunity to fly aboard a nation-sponsored or private spacecraft as a passenger, e.g. AXE promotion, Virgin Galactic passengers, spaceflight participants, etc. - see Space tourism)
My suggestion is to have this page (List of astronauts by year of selection) be the default page for the professional astronaut list, and at the top have links to the other categories. I'm looking for a better name than "test pilot astronaut" since there really is no common term for them. There's also no term for "guest astronaut" that encompasses what I have here, but I think it's a reasonable compromise. Comments, suggestions? -- Wizardimps (talk) 22:48, 25 January 2014 (UTC)
The title of the article is "List of Astronauts by year of selection" and the article Astronaut defines that term as "An astronaut is a person trained by a human spaceflight program to command, pilot, or serve as a crew member of a spacecraft." That would imply anyone not trained by a human spaceflight program to command, pilot, or serve as a crew member of a spacecraft should be removed from this article. After that, if the article is still too long, I would certainly support creating sub-articles. However, one benefit of the current article is readers can easily see the rise and fall of astronaut training activity as they scroll through the years. Rillian (talk) 18:03, 28 January 2014 (UTC)

There's a lot of crap creep in here. While the term astronaut is sometimes applied to anyone who travels into space, including scientists, politicians, journalists, and tourists, this article only lists professional astronauts. is what it says on the label and we're getting people listed here who won perfume company competitions for trips on as-yet-unbuilt craft. Clearly these people are not astronauts, and even if they ever do fly - a very long shot, if you ask me - they certainly won't be professional astronauts. If Virgin Galactic ever gets motoring, there will be professional astronauts flying the thing, and passengers, who won't be professional astronauts but just people strapped in for the ride. --Pete (talk) 09:58, 26 June 2015 (UTC)


The article says "McDivitt was later Apollo Program Director and became the first general officer and would have been either the prime LM Pilot or backup commander for Apollo 14, but left NASA due to a conflict between Alan Shepard and Deke Slayton." Was the conflict between Shepard and Slayton or between McDivitt and the other two? It is probably the latter, but it isn't clear. Bubba73 You talkin' to me? 18:36, 22 October 2015 (UTC)

Tabular Format Suggestion[edit]

This article may benefit from a modification to a Tabular format, similar to other "List" based articles in Wikipedia. For ease of readability, scanning, and space compression, a full tabular format may be preferred by readers. Also previous discussion points regarding the inclusion of photos may better be accommodated. SquashEngineer (talk) 17:28, 16 May 2016 (UTC)

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