Timeline of space travel by nationality
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Map of countries whose citizens have flown in space as of April 2008.|
Since the first human spaceflight by the Soviet Union, citizens of 38 countries have flown in space. For each nationality, the launch date of the first mission is listed. The list is based on the nationality of the person at the time of the spaceflight. Only three of the thirty-eight "first flyers" have been women (Sharman in 1991, Ansari in 2006, Yi in 2008).
Note: All dates given are UTC. Suborbital flights are cursive (Italic type).
- This person flew as a commercial non-governmental space tourist.
- The first cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin had citizenship of both the USSR and the Russian SFSR according the Constitution of the USSR. In 1991, the Soviet Union broke up into Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Estonia, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Moldova, Russia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, and Uzbekistan. At the time of the breakup, Sergei Krikalev and Alexander Volkov were orbiting Earth on Mir, having gone into orbit as Soviet citizens. They returned to Earth as Russian citizens. Kaleri and Viktorenko were the first Russians to go into orbit after the Soviet breakup.
- Under Fédération Aéronautique Internationale rules, the Vostok missions are not true spaceflights, as cosmonauts did not land with the spacecraft but ejected and landed separately. The first Soviet mission that did fulfill this requirement was Voskhod 1. (Reference: "FAI Astronautic Records Commission - Sporting Code Section 8" (PDF). Fédération Aéronautique Internationale. http://www.fai.org/sporting_code/sc08.pdf. Retrieved on 2006-04-09. ) However, despite this issue, the FAI does recognize Yuri Gagarin as the first person to complete a spaceflight. (Reference: "FAI Award: The Yuri A. Gagarin Gold Medal". Fédération Aéronautique Internationale. http://www.fai.org/awards/award.asp?id=9. Retrieved on 2007-10-10. )
- Shepard's spaceflight was suborbital. The first American to go into orbit was John Glenn, on 20 February 1962.
- In 1993, Czechoslovakia broke up into the Czech Republic and Slovakia.
- In 1978, both Jähn himself and the socialist authorities of the GDR (a.k.a. East Germany) pronounced him the "first German in space", rather than the first "GDR citizen", as usual. In 1990, the states of the GDR acceded to Federal Republic of Germany (previously a.k.a. West Germany). On 22 January 1992, Ulf Merbold again traveled into space, now representing the enlarged Germany. Jähn is nevertheless still considered the first German in space in united Germany today.
- Ilan Ramon was the first Israeli to go into space but he died during reentry. This was not a complete spaceflight under FAI rules.
- Although recognized as an Iranian citizen by Iranian law, Ansari is also an American citizen and was prohibited from wearing Iranian state symbols by both the United States and Russian governments.
The above list uses the nationality at the time of launch. Lists with differing criteria might include the following people:
- Pavel Popovich, first launched 12 August 1962, was the first Ukrainian-born man in space. At the time, Ukraine was a part of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics.
- Vladimir Shatalov, first launched 14 January 1969, was the first Kazakh-born man in space. At the time, Kazakhstan was a part of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics.
- Bill Pogue, first launched 16 November 1973, as an inductee to the 5 Civilized Tribes Hall of Fame can lay claim to being the first Native American in space. See John Herrington below regarding technicality of tribal registration.
- Pyotr Klimuk, first launched 18 December 1973, was the first Belorussian-born man in space. At the time, Belarus was a part of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics.
- Vladimir Dzhanibekov, first launched 16 March 1978, was the first Uzbek-born man in space. At the time, Uzbekistan was a part of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics.
- Paul D. Scully-Power, first launched 5 October 1984, was born in Australia, but was an American citizen when he went into space.
- Taylor Gun-Jin Wang, first launched 29 April 1985, was born in China to Chinese parents, but was an American citizen when he went into space.
- Lodewijk van den Berg, first launched 29 April 1985, was born in The Netherlands, but was an American citizen when he went into space.
- Patrick Baudry, first launched 17 June 1985, was born in French Cameroun (now part of Cameroon), but was a French citizen when he went into space.
- Shannon Lucid, first launched 17 June 1985, was born in China to American parents of European descent, and was an American citizen when she went into space.
- Franklin Chang-Diaz, first launched 12 January 1986, was born in Costa Rica, but was an American citizen when he went into space.
- Musa Manarov, first launched 21 December 1987, was the first Azerbaijan-born man in space. At the time, Azerbaijan was a part of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics.
- Anatoly Solovyev, first launched 7 June 1988, was the first Latvian-born man in space. At the time, Latvia was a part of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics.
- Toktar Aubakirov, first launched 2 October 1991, was the first ethnic Kazakh to go into space.
- Andy Thomas, first launched 19 May 1996, was born in Australia, but was an American citizen when he went into space.
- Carlos I. Noriega, first launched 15 May 1997, was born in Peru, but was an American citizen when he went into space.
- Bjarni Tryggvason, first launched 7 August 1997, was born in Iceland, but was a Canadian citizen when he went into space.
- Salizhan Sharipov, first launched 22 January 1998, was born in Kyrgyzstan (then the Kirghiz SSR), but was a Russian citizen when he went into space. Sharipov is of Uzbek ancestry.
- Philippe Perrin, first launched 5 June 2002, was born in Morocco, but was a French citizen when he went into space.
- John Herrington, an American citizen first launched 24 November 2002, is the first tribal registered Native American in space (Chickasaw). See also Bill Pogue above.
- Fyodor Yurchikhin, first launched 7 October 2002, was born in Georgia (then the Georgian SSR). He was a Russian citizen at the time he went into space and is of Pontian Greek descent.
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Published - July 2009
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