Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Astro Birthdates & Milestones


Continuing from yesterday? On my domain, there is a full list of all astronauts listed by birth month, and then another with all astronauts listed by birth year. Both are handy for seeing the oldest to youngest throughout all the world space agencies, and I thought it might also be fun for people to see if they share a birthday with a space traveler.

Astronauts by Birth DatesThen again… someone who is a real space geek might start wondering if any of those dates held interesting facts or milestones. Someone with time on their hands might actually look for patterns.

For instance: In terms of birth dates, the oldest space traveler was Georgi Beregovoi of the Ukraine, a Cosmonaut born April 15, 1921, just 3 years after the revolution that dethroned the last tsar, and put Lenin at the head of communist Russia. John Glenn clocks in second, born on July 18, 1921… when World War I officially ended under President Warren G. Harding.

The youngest space traveler is Yi So-Yeon of South Korea, a KAP taikonaut born June 2, 1978. Russia has recently selected new cosmonauts born in the 1980s, but as yet none have flown. This record will continue to change, of course, where as Beregovoi will always be the "earliest born earthling who went into space".

Astronauts as children
Pays to be a dreamer...

Jack Lousma is the only space traveler from Earth born on February 29th. He celebrates his birthday every four trips around the sun when we have a Leap Year!

NASA astronaut Gregory Linters was born October 4, 1957 – the very first astro-child born after Sputnik was launched. He was the first Space Race Baby!

The most space travelers were born in the month of August. Second place, May. December and July are tied for the least number of Astros, at 33 apiece.

Since 1923, at least one space traveler has been born every year until 1973. The leanest years were 1924 and 1938, when only singles are on record: Deke Slayton (NASA) and Jean-Loup Chr├ętien (CNES) , respectively.

The year that saw the most births of future astros? 25 space travelers were born in the year 1956.

On April 12, 1961, Cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin became the first human to enter space and return safely. Belgian spationaute Frank De Winne (ESA) was born April 25th of that same year, the first space traveler born into a space-faring world.

On July 20, 1969, Astronauts Buzz Aldrin and Neil Armstrong become the first humans to land on the lunar surface. American astronaut Tracy Caldwell Dyson (NASA) was born August 14 of that same year, the first space traveler born after the historic moon walk.