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Timeline of space travel by nationality

By Wikipedia,
the free encyclopedia,


Map of countries whose citizens have flown in space as of April 2008.
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).

  1.   This person flew as a commercial non-governmental space tourist.
  2.   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.
  3.   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. )
  4.   Shepard's spaceflight was suborbital. The first American to go into orbit was John Glenn, on 20 February 1962.
  5.   In 1993, Czechoslovakia broke up into the Czech Republic and Slovakia.
  6.   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.
  7.   Ilan Ramon was the first Israeli to go into space but he died during reentry. This was not a complete spaceflight under FAI rules.
  8.   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.

Other claims

The above list uses the nationality at the time of launch. Lists with differing criteria might include the following people:

See also

Text from Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License; additional terms may apply.

Published in July 2009.

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