Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Space Travelers Birth Map


Map time!

As soon as I typed that, I realized it sounded like "Nap time". I wish. But no, these Google maps take a lot of research, a lot of typing, a lot of marking and a lot of time. Absolutely worth every minute. Over the past year, I created a map of all the space agencies in the world, and then all the space museums; the newest project is a mapping of where every space traveler was born.

Astronaut Map
Of course, the majority were born in the United States and Russia, and upon compiling a worldwide roster, I wimped out in terms of mapping those first. They're MASSIVE. So, I first tackled all the smaller space agencies and miscellaneous nations who spawned astronauts.

Like the other map projects, columns will be added over time until the map is completed; phase one was a pretty big chunk, consisting of 134 people who traveled into space with NASA, RKA, JAXA, ESA, CNES, CSA… and I also included the first few space "tourists" who paid for the pleasure.

The icons are fairly easy to navigate, with each map-marker color representing the decade in which the astronauts were born. Another key shows the format for all the space travelers' listings. Right now, the listings include 51 nations, with the Ukraine (most born during USSR era), China and Canada including the biggest showings.

China is right now screening their first two female astronauts, and may make the list a bit longer in the not-too-distant future. We'll keep tracking.

In each case, the very first person into space from that nation or ethnic group is noted. So come have a look, and see which Earthlings have thus far traveled into the vacuum!

For a larger map, you can also go straight to the source on my Google site. Next up, some American astronauts!