Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Wikipedia.


see astronautastronaut,
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.
..... Click the link for more information.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia™ Copyright © 2013, Columbia University Press. Licensed from Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



(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.


(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 ?
"My dad was a pilot on a rescue helicopter and he worked with teams who provided initial rehabilitation assistance to landing cosmonauts. He was there when Valentina Tereshkova and German Titov landed," Mikhail said.
1963 - Soviet cosmonaut Valentina Tereshkova is the first woman in space.
Some specialists later attributed this to a specific national mindset and far less women aspiring to become cosmonauts. Any Russian citizen not older than 35 years with a higher education in engineering, or in the scientific and flight sectors and with work experience was able to toss their hat into the ring, but only male candidates were selected.
The three cosmonauts have returned to Earth from the International Space Station.
As a bonus, Ryazanskiy is aboard the space station again now and he is the cosmonaut who shared the first panoramic video taken in space.
The main crew comprises Russian cosmonaut Anton Shkaplerov, European astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti and NASA astronaut Terry Virts.
He said at the Star City cosmonaut training centre outside Moscow that the only data they were able to receive about their approach to the earth came from the salvage team on the ground.
They will join station commander Dan Burbank and two Russian cosmonauts who arrived last month, bringing the complex back to its full live-aboard staff of six.
She and the two Russians accompanying her joined the current crew consisting of US commander Peggy Whitson, another NASA astronaut Garrett Reisman, and Russian cosmonaut Yury Malenchenko.
WHAT do you give a cosmonaut who has been travelling through space for months on end?
Speaking during preflight rituals at the cosmonaut hotel near the Baikonur launch facility Russia rents from Kazakhstan, he said: "I think this flight will be very good for Nasa.
But the cosmonaut who spent the most time in space did not show any bone loss.