Cosmonaut

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astronaut

astronaut, crew member on a U.S. manned spaceflight mission; the Soviet term is cosmonaut. Candidates for manned spaceflight are carefully screened to meet the highest physical and mental standards, and they undergo rigorous training. The early astronauts had all previously been test pilots, but later astronauts have included scientists and physicians, journalists, and politicians. As far as is possible, all conditions to be encountered in space are simulated in ground training. Astronauts are trained to function effectively in cramped quarters while wearing restrictive spacesuits; they are accelerated in giant centrifuges to test their reactions to the inertial forces experienced during liftoff; they are prepared for the physiological disorientation they will experience in space arising from weightlessness; and they spend long periods in isolation chambers to test their psychological reactions to solitude. Using trainers and mock-ups of actual spacecraft, astronauts rehearse every maneuver from liftoff to recovery, and every conceivable malfunction and difficulty is anticipated and prepared for. In addition to flight training, astronauts are required to have thorough knowledge of all aspects of space science, such as celestial mechanics and rocketry. Concurrent with all other preparation, astronauts must maintain excellent physical condition. Manned spaceflight began on Apr. 8, 1961, when the Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin orbited the earth. Other prominent cosmonauts included Vladimir Komarov, commander of the first Voskhod spacecraft, Alexis Leonov, first man to walk in space, and Valentina Terechkova, first woman cosmonaut. Prominent American astronauts include Alan B. Shepard, Jr., who made a suborbital flight on May 5, 1961; John H. Glenn, Jr., who was the first American to orbit the earth; Neil A. Armstrong, Jr., Edwin E. Aldrin, Jr., and Michael Collins, the crew of the Apollo 11 spacecraft that first landed on the Moon in 1969; and Sally K. Ride, America's first female astronaut.

Bibliography

See T. Wolfe, The Right Stuff (1975); G. L. Burdett and G. A. Soffen, The Human Quest in Space (1987); M. Collins, Carrying Fire (1989).

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Cosmonaut

 

(also astronaut), a person who tests and operates space hardware during a space flight; it is a profession that arose because of man’s penetration into space (1961).

The first cosmonaut trainees were selected from military pilots (USSR) and test pilots (USA), since the necessary combination of qualities (expert flying skill; the ability to make instant decisions and to withstand noise, vibration, acceleration, and their combinations; and experience in carrying out observations and recording their results) is most often found in those professions. Later, in both the USSR and the USA, engineers and scientists with the required specialized knowledge also became part of flight crews.

Cosmonaut training began in the Soviet Union in 1960 and in the USA in 1959 for Mercury program flights and in 1962 for Gemini and Apollo program flights. Soviet cosmonauts who had made space flights as pilots or crew members as of Jan. 1, 1976, were lu. A. Gagarin (1961), G. S. Titov (1961), A. G. Nikolaev (1962 and 1970), P. R. Popovich (1962 and 1974), V. F. Bykovskii (1963), V. V. Tereshkova (Nikolaeva-Tereshkova; 1963), V. M. Komarov (1964 and 1967), K. P. Feoktistov (1964), B. B. Egorov (1964), P. I. Beliaev (1965), A. A. Leonov (1965 and 1975), G. T. Beregovoi (1968), V. A. Shatalov (twice in 1969; 1971), A. S. Eliseev (twice in 1969; 1971), E. V. Khrunov (1969), B. V. Volynov (1969), G. S. Shonin (1969), V. N. Kubasov (1969 and 1975), A. V. Filipchenko (1969 and 1974), V. N. Volkov (1969 and 1971), V. V. Gorbatko (1969), V. I. Sevast’-ianov (1970 and 1975), N. N. Rukavishnikov (1971), G. T. Dobrovol’skii (1971), V. I. Patsaev (1971), V. G. Lazarev (1973), O. G. Makarov (1973), P. I. Klimuk (1973 and 1975), V. V. Lebedev (1973), lu. P. Artiukhin (1974), L. S. Demin (1974), G. V. Sarafanov (1974), A. A. Gubarev (1975), and G. M. Grechko (1975).

American astronauts were A. Shepard (1961 and 1971), V. Grissom (1961 and 1965), J. Glenn (1962), M. S. Carpenter (1962), W. Schirra (1962, 1965, and 1968), L. G. Cooper (1963, 1965), J. Young (1965, 1966, 1969 and 1972), J. McDivitt (1965 and 1969), E. White (1965 and 1968), C Conrad (1965, 1966, 1969, and 1973), F. Borman (1965 and 1968), J. Lovell (1965, 1966, 1968, and 1970), T. Stafford (1965, 1966, and 1969), N. Armstrong (1966 and 1969), D. Scott (1966, 1969, and 1971), E. Cernan (1966, 1969, and 1972), M. Collins (1966 and 1969), R. Gordon (1966 and 1969), E. Aldrin, Jr. (1966 and 1969), W. Cunningham (1968), D. Eisele (1968), W. Anders (1968), R. Schweikert (1969), A. Bean (1969 and 1973), J. Swigert (1970), F. Haise (1970), E. Mitchell (1971), S. Roosa (1971), A. Worden (1971), J. Irwin (1971), T. Mattingly (1972), C. Duke (1972), R. Evans (1972), H. Schmitt (1972), J. Kerwin (1973), P. Weitz (1973), O. Garriott (1973), J. Lousma (1973), G. Carr (1973), E. Gibson (1973), W. Pogue (1973), D. Slayton (1975), and V. Brand (1975).

G. A. NAZAROV [13–760–1; updated]

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

cosmonaut

[′käz·mə‚nȯt]
(aerospace engineering)
An astronaut in the former Soviet Union.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
References in periodicals archive ?
"And now," she says, "we fly our cosmonauts to the front door of heaven, knock, and find it vacant."
The Gagarin Research and Test Cosmonaut Training Center, a Roscosmos enterprise, located in Star City, Russia, is a worldwide training facility, collaborating with space agencies from different countries such as NASA (USA), CSA (Canada), ESA (Europe) JAXA (Japan) and others.
After studying statistical data regarding these illnesses and the deaths of astronauts and cosmonauts, the researchers concluded that they were not able to find a direct correlation between space radiation and mortality causes.
The event was honored by the presence of the active Russian cosmonauts Anton Skaplerov and Sergei Prokopiev.
He kept trying till Col Valery Korzun, the chief for the first administration of Cosmonaut Training Centre from Star City in Moscow, arranged for five of his pictures of flowers to be taken to space last year.
Back to Earth arrived Mikhail Kornienko, Scott Kelly and Russian cosmonaut Sergei Volkov, who had spent six months onboard the ISS.
A Soyuz capsule carrying Kelly, Kornienko and Sergey Volkov, another Russian cosmonaut, made a parachute landing on the steppe near the Kazakh city of Zhezkazgan at 10:26 a.m.
Kazakh cosmonaut Aidyn Aimbetov is ready to replace British singer Sarah Brightman, who cancelled her travel to the International Space Station as a space tourist, a top official at the Kazakh National Aerospace Committee Kazcosmos said on Tuesday, reports RIA Novosti.
Two Russian cosmonauts and an American astronaut returned to Earth aboard a Soyuz space capsule after spending six months at the International Space Station.
ISLAMABAD -- The Russian Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos) has revealed plans to build an orbiting outpost and land cosmonauts on the moon once the International Space Station (ISS) is mothballed next decade.
Volk served as the head of the cosmonauts training for the Buran programme.
Russian cosmonauts still carry semi-automatic guns in space and on-board the ISS (International Space Station) the guns that are found on-board belong to the Russians.