Astronauts GIFs Cliparts
An astronaut (from the Greek 'astron' (), meaning 'star', and 'nautes' (), meaning 'sailor') is a person trained, equipped, and deployed by a human spaceflight program to serve as a commander or crew member aboard a spacecraft. Although generally reserved for professional space travelers, the terms are sometimes applied to anyone who travels into space, including scientists, politicians, journalists and tourists. 'Astronaut' technically applies to all human space travelers regardless of nationality or allegiance, however, astronauts fielded by Russia or the Soviet Union are typically known instead as cosmonauts (from the Russian 'kosmos' (), meaning 'space', also borrowed from Greek) in order to distinguish them from American or otherwise NATO-oriented space travellers. Comparatively recent developments in manned spaceflight made by China have led to the rise of the term taikonaut (from the Mandarin 'tikng' (), meaning 'space'), although its use is somewhat informal and its origin is unclear. In Mainland China, the People's Liberation Army Astronaut Corps astronauts and their foreign counterparts are all officially called hngtinyun (, meaning 'heaven navigator' or literally 'heaven-sailing staff') and 'astronauts' in English. Until 2002, astronauts were sponsored and trained exclusively by governments, either by the military or by civilian space agencies. With the suborbital flight of the privately funded SpaceShipOne in 2004, a new category of astronaut was created: the commercial astronaut. Definition The criteria for what constitutes human spaceflight 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 the flight object. The Fdration Aronautique Internationale (FAI) Sporting Code for astronautics recognizes only flights that exceed the Krmn line, at an altitude of 100 kilometers (62 mi). In the United States, professional, military, and commercial astronauts who travel above an altitude of 50 miles (80 km) are awarded astronaut wings. As of 17 November 2016, 552 people from 36 countries have reached 100 km (62 mi) or more in altitude, of whom 549 reached low Earth orbit or beyond.
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