Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Americans in Space II


Map completion! My newest project is a mapping of where every space traveler was born. And it's been a heck of a lot of reading... 522 profiles altogether, of astronauts, cosmonauts, spationautes, taikonauts and the first handful of space tourists.

I've just finished the final column in the listings, and used this resource to place the final markers on the Google map, showing a total of 51 nations that have contributed to off-Earth exploration.

Map of Astronauts
For a larger map of the birth places, you can also go straight to the source on my Google site.

In each case, the very first person into space from various ethnic groups are noted, as well as those who walked on the moon, perished in unfortunate disasters, completed famous firsts or still hold world records.

Along the way, I kept track of how many NASA astronauts came from each state. The leaders of the pack are New York, California, Texas and... Ohio? Well, the first three are no surprise, given their large populations. However, percentage wise in comparison to inhabitants, OHIO is the state that has contributed the most to the Astronaut Corps -- and there was even an all-Ohio Space Shuttle crew!

Perhaps it's because Neil Armstrong was from Ohio? He must have inspired a great many people from his state to become space travelers.

Number of Astronauts Per State
Number of astronauts per state

Also, there are thus far NO astronauts from Vermont, Wyoming, Nevada or Alaska? Well, if you are from one of those states, you could still make history as the first!

I also tracked birthdates and names along the way, and have been compiling separate research pages for those stats... interesting stuff. See all the first names of the space travelers, and perhaps you share a name with someone who isn't Story Musgrave... because let's face it, the chances of another Story astronaut are pretty slim. Birthdates, including breakdowns of birth months and birth years are still to come; stay tuned!

Tech notes: If you are using IE9 or upgrade to Firefox8, the custom icons can disappear at random. O the joys of technology! ;)

Note also that since the map grew so large, all the markers do not show up on one page. Google requires a scroll down through the place holders to skip to the next set of markers.