Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Americans in Space


Map time, once again! My newest project is a mapping of where every space traveler was born. If you understand how CTRL+F works, this is shaping up to be a searchable resource.

The numbers have emerged, showing 310 American space travelers, 78 Russian space travelers, and 134 astronauts, cosmonauts, spationautes and/or taikonauts from an incredible array of 51 other nations!

Astronaut Map
Americans will take up the other two columns. This week, I completed A through J, as listed alphabetically. 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.

Next week will be J-Z, and then I will follow up the last phase with all the Russians. I'll be adding the Cosmonauts last, because two Russian rookies are due to make their maiden voyages this November 14th on the next Soyuz launch! But anyway, back to the first batch of Yankee colonists:

The map looks a bit more cluttered than the one for agencies or space museums, since plotting 522 people is more intensive.

However, a truly interesting part of the research time is recognizing patterns along the way. For instance, who knew there were 5 guys named Oleg who went to space, but only one named Anthony.

Alas, there are no Heathers. So... wow, the spot for the first Heather is still up for grabs! There's hope for me.

First Names of Space Travelers
Do you share a name with a space traveler? Check out the directory of names at my secondary page for Astronaut First Names.

Many common names are conspicuously missing -- just the odds of the selection game, and as "name fads" move through the eras, we will certainly see changes.

The most common name for a space traveler? Michael. A whopping 16 Michaels have gone into space. But, only one guy named J├╝gderdemidiin. Go figure.