What is Astronaut: Definition and 141 Discussions

An astronaut (from the Greek "astron" (ἄστρον), meaning "star", and "nautes" (ναύτης), meaning "sailor") is a person trained, equipped, and deployed by a human spaceflight program to serve as a commander or crew member aboard a spacecraft. Although generally reserved for professional space travelers, the terms are sometimes applied to anyone who travels into space, including scientists, politicians, journalists and tourists."Astronaut" technically applies to all human space travelers regardless of nationality or allegiance; however, astronauts fielded by Russia or the Soviet Union are typically known instead as cosmonauts (from the Russian "kosmos" (космос), meaning "universe", also borrowed from Greek) in order to distinguish them from American or otherwise NATO-oriented space travellers. Comparatively recent developments in manned spaceflight made by China and other East Asian nations have also led to the rise of the term taikonaut (from the Mandarin tàikōngrén 太空人, meaning "spaceman"), although its use is somewhat informal and its origin is unclear. In Mainland China, the People's Liberation Army Astronaut Corps astronauts and their foreign counterparts are all officially called hángtiānyuán (航天员, meaning "heaven navigator" or literally "heaven-sailing staff") and "astronauts" in English.
Until 2002, astronauts were sponsored and trained exclusively by governments, either by the military or by civilian space agencies. With the suborbital flight of the privately funded SpaceShipOne in 2004, a new category of astronaut was created: the commercial astronaut.

View More On Wikipedia.org
  1. pinball1970

    RIP Thomas Stafford 1930-2024, NASA astronaut

  2. M

    I Schrödinger's astronaut as a quantum computer?

    Consider the following scenario: a space station is put into orbit, which is absurdly well shielded from all sorts of radiation, a.k.a. "a box". You cannot make any effective observation of what the astronaut inside is up to. (This postulate may be implausible, but in the age of "weakly...
  3. A

    Calculating the center of mass as an astronaut moves on a shuttle

    I had solved this question but it didn't seem to be appropriate to post in the classical physics problem as my question is still homework-based. Originally I had thought this might be a conservation of momentum problem. But since we don't have any initial conditions it leaves too much to guess...
  4. S

    Is there any physicist doing research who was once an astronaut?

    Is there any former astronaut who is now doing research in theoretical physics (like e.g string theory)?
  5. Wrichik Basu

    Astronaut Michael Collins has passed away

    Astronaut Michael Collins, Apollo 11 pilot, has passed away of cancer. He was 90. https://www.thehindu.com/news/international/astronaut-michael-collins-apollo-11-pilot-dead-of-cancer/article34434156.ece Rest in peace.
  6. C

    B Conflict Between Time Dilation and Red/Blue Shift?

    Experiment 1: Astronaut travels away from Earth at near the speed of light, then travels toward the Earth at near the speed of light. Einstein tells us she barely aged, but red shift/blue shift don't seem to agree with that. While traveling away, both Earth and astronaut observe each other...
  7. akshitha135

    Can you become an astronaut if you have a medical degree?

    How do you get into research if you are interested in medicine and want to work in research with space? Can you also become an astronaut but not be involved with space missions, thanks for your answers.
  8. astroYEEET

    Interaction of an astronaut with the CMB flux

    From the density and the mass we can find the volume using d=m/v <=> v=0.06 m^3. Since we consider the astronaut a sphere we find his radius using V(sphere)=4/3*π*R^3 =>R=0.242m. Now we can calculate the surface area with the formula A=4πR^2=0.735m^2. The energy absorbed will be i suppose equal...
  9. Leo Liu

    SpaceX SpaceX's astronaut wore glasses during liftoff

    When I was watching the live video of demo 2, I found that an astronaut was wearing his glasses during the launch event as shown by the image below. So I am wondering why he was wearing it. Also, wouldn't the glasses be potentially harmful to the astronaut due to the high acceleration? Last...
  10. D

    What forces affect an astronaut?

    Well the first one that comes to mind is gravity and maybe centrifugal/centripetal force. I imagine that forces such as drag shouldn't even be considered. I find it difficult to imagine which belong to which frame of reference.
  11. D

    An astronaut is piloting her spacecraft

    Find acceleration vi=20.0 m/s[E] vf= 0 t= 12 s a= ? 0 =20+ a(12) 0-20 = a(12) -20/12=a -1.7m/s2 [E]= a textbook says it's 1.7m/s [W] Is it because when velocity decreases, it increases west (opposite direction)? Is -1.7m [E] same as 1.7m [W]??
  12. D

    Would an astronaut be able to get back to the space station?

    Would an astronaut really bale able to make it back to the space station by throwing a wrench in the opposite direction if his cable broke and floated away? I heard this question as it relates to Newton's third law. Wouldn't the astronaut need to throw the wrench faster than he is moving before...
  13. SebastianRM

    Problem 9.2 Classical Mechanics: Astronaut in a rotating space station

    Homework Statement Acceleration experienced by an astronaut in a rotating space station. Homework Equations What force would he experience is his own rotating frame of reference. The Attempt at a Solution Newton's second Law for a rotating frame is: mr'' = F net+ Fcor + Fcf Fnet (In the...
  14. alexi_b

    How far apart are the astronaut and satellite after 8.67 minutes?

    Homework Statement A 63.8kg spacewalking astronaut pushes off a 678.0kg satellite, exerting a 156.0N force for the 0.870s it takes him to straighten his arms. How far apart are the astronaut and the satellite after 8.67min? Homework EquationsThe Attempt at a Solution I tried just finding the...
  15. Urmi

    What sparked my passion for physics?

    Hey guys! I'm Urmi and I'm just a regular teen who's crazy about Physics. Physics has been my area of interest since my step into middle school and now when I see TV Series like Stranger Things, I feel so darn good that kids nowadays (and in the 80s) dig science stuffs so freaking much. I dream...
  16. Q

    Are astronauts allowed to have tattoos on their body?

    Are astronauts allowed to have tattoos on their body? What would be the implications of tattooed body in space?
  17. riley4190

    Is it possible to be both an astronaut and astrophysicist?

    If someone earns phD in astrophysics and then he/she is selected to be an astronaut, is it possible that this person will have a REALLY successful career in astrophysics? I've read so many times that after coming back to Earth astronauts are usually mentors and educators. So, my question is: is...
  18. rcgldr

    Astronaut shoots a bullet into the sun - gravity assists?

    This question came up at another forum. The delta-v of potential guns is limited to the range 3 km/s to 11 km/s (hydrogen gun). Assume the astronaut is either on the moon or orbiting the moon. I'm wondering if a single impulse followed by gravity assists (and ideal planet alignment) could result...
  19. J

    Tension of Rope: Cosmonaut & Spaceship Orbit in Planetary Gravity

    Homework Statement What is the tension of this rope? Cosmonaut m=100kg is outside of spaceship M=5 tons on rope with length 64m. Cosmonaut along with his spaceship moves in orbit at a neglible distance. m=100kg M=5000kg L=64m Planet's mass 6*10^24 Planet's radius 6400km Homework Equations...
  20. N

    Projectile motion - microgravity astronaut training

    Homework Statement In microgravity astronaut training and equipment testing, NASA flies an aircraft along a parabolic flight path. The aircraft climbs from 24,000 ft to 31,000 ft, where it enters a parabolic path with a velocity of 143 m/s nose high at 45.0° and exits with velocity 143 m/s at...
  21. Astronuc

    NASA RIP Bruce McCandless, NASA, Astronaut

    http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/bruce-mccandless-iconic-spacewalker-dies/ar-BBHamOP https://www.nasa.gov/astronautprofiles/mccandless http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-42465059 https://www.nytimes.com/2017/12/23/obituaries/bruce-mccandless-dead-astronaut.html
  22. A

    Time Dilation, calculate the age of the returning astronaut

    Homework Statement "In 2010, a 20-year-old astronaut leaves her twin on Earth and goes on a rocket to explore the galaxy. The rocket moves at 2.7 x 10^8 m/s during the voyage. It returns to Earth in the year 2040. Using relativity, calculate the age of the returning astronaut." Homework...
  23. Robert House

    Fire suppression in a sealed system

    Here is the scenario. An astronaut is conducting experiments inside of a laboratory module within a space station when all of a sudden, a fire breaks out. The astronaut escapes from the laboratory module he was currently using and then proceeds to seal it off using an airlock. He then...
  24. A

    Is 87-Year-Old Astronaut Buzz Aldrin a Fashion Icon?

  25. Astronuc

    RIP Gene Cernan, last astronaut on the moon

    HOUSTON (AP) -- Former astronaut Gene Cernan, who as the last person to walk on the moon returned to Earth with a message of "peace and hope for all mankind," died on Monday, his family said. He was 82. https://www.yahoo.com/news/gene-cernan-last-astronaut-moon-205711702.html On Dec. 11, 1972...
  26. S

    Gravitational force on an astronaut from a nearby massive torus

    Homework Statement There are a big object and an astronaut in space. How do we calculate the gravitational force between them. I enclose a photo. I have given the mass of an astronaut, the dimensions of this giant ring and density of the ring. There is also a mistake in the photo. The astronaut...
  27. P

    Can an astronaut rotate herself?

    Homework Statement An astronaut has been left outside the space station, her back towards the station. The astronaut is not rotating (angular momentum ~ L = 0) and cannot reach anything. Is it possible for the astronaut to rotate herself into facing the space station? Homework Equations...
  28. J

    If an astronaut were to die in space, what would they do wit

    if an astronaut were to die in space, what would they do with the body?
  29. K

    I Time Dilation Between Astronaut A and Person B

    Definitions: Astronaut is A Person on Earth is B A travels to a star far away at near light speed, A would see B's time dilate. B would also see A's time dilate Twin paradox revived: What would happen if A returns to B at a very slow speed? Then both frames of reference would see each others'...
  30. J

    Astronaut throwing a Wrench in space problem again

    Homework Statement An astronaut with a mass of 90 kg (including spacesuit and equipment) is drifting away from his spaceship at a speed of 0.20 m/s with respect to the spaceship. The astronaut is equipped only with a 0.50-kg wrench to help him get back to the ship. Homework Equations...
  31. S

    Get a Job w/NASA: Transfer or Mechanical BS?

    Hi everyone I am currently a freshman in college planning on applying to the School of Engineering next fall. I want to be an Astronautical Engineer but my school doesn't even have Aerospace so I was planning on doing Mechanical. I would like to work for NASA as an Astronaut but I would also be...
  32. TyroneTheDino

    Conservation of Momentum of astronaut leaving ship

    Homework Statement An astronaut is pushed from her ship at a velocity of 2m/s. Her weight including her tool belt is 120kg. Remembering Newtons 3rd law, she takes 5 seconds to decide to detach her belt and throw it away from her. The 20kg tool belt leaves her suit as she throws it in front of...
  33. 1

    How Does Planet X's Gravity Affect Rocket Escape Velocity?

    1. Problem A rocket has landed on Planet X, which has half the radius of Earth. An astronaut onboard the rocket weighs twice as much on Planet X as on Earth. If the escape velocity for the rocket taking off from Earth is v , then its escape velocity on Planet X is a) 2 v b) (√2)v c) v d) v/2 e)...
  34. T

    Astronaut travels to distant planet, finding age?

    Homework Statement A 26 year-old biologist makes a trip to study alien life forms in a distant planet 10 light-years away. The round trip including a stay of 1 year in the distance planet takes 21.5 years according to the clock on earth. The biologist’s son is 3 year-old when she left. Assume...
  35. H

    Astronaut floats outside spacecraft

    Homework Statement A 91-kg astronaut floats outside a 3,131 kg spacecraft . She's initially stationary with respect to the spacecraft . Then she pushes against the spacecraft , and moves away at 0.195 m/s to the left. Find the SPEED of the recoiling spacecraft . Homework Equations Force =...
  36. J

    Solving for the Centre of Mass in an Astronaut Space Walk

    Homework Statement a) Two astronauts, A of total mass 90kg and B of total mass 110kg are tied together by a light rope 15m long during a space walk. A starts to reel in the rope at her end. After 8.5s she has reduced the length of the rope by 5.5m. What distance does the centre of mass move in...
  37. SpiderET

    Effects of relativistic mass on astronaut

    Lets assume we have a starship which is flying from Earth to star XY which is in distance for example 100 lightyears. The computer of that ship is programmed that way, that it maintains acceleration 1 g. After some time the speed of ship reaches some significant part of speed of light and to...
  38. Robyn Gibson

    Gas Laws -- An astronaut breathing presurized air

    Homework Statement An Astronaut on a spacewalk has an oxygen tank strapped to his suit. The oxygen in it is pressurised to 5 atmospheres (5x10^5 Pa), and the volume of the tank is 15 litres. a) The oxygen is pumped to his mouth at atmospheric pressure (1x10^5 Pa). What is the maximum volume of...
  39. Satvik Pandey

    Astronaut firing a Canon ball

    Homework Statement An astronaut in space weights 100 kg and is holding a cannon which can shoot a 10kg cannonball. The astronaut is moving at 10 m/s. The astronaut wishes to fire the cannonball such that he turns the maximum possible angle. Find this angle in degrees. Homework EquationsThe...
  40. A

    Astronaut in Space With a Spinning Gyroscope

    One particular experiment that I remember from a visit to a Science Center is the one involving a revolving platform and a gyroscope. The user spins the gyroscope - a heavy wheel on an axle and stands on the platform which is free to rotate about its vertical axis. As I distinctly...
  41. K

    Where would I begin if i wanted a job in the CSA or as an astronaut?

    Hi everyone, I know this may seem a little impossible but I have always dreamed of working for someone like the Canadian Space Agency, becoming an astronaut, or even working in the ISS. I'm currently studying mechanical engineering and am about to head into my 3rd year. How would I go...
  42. S

    Gravitational Time Dilation and Age of Astronaut

    Hello Everyone, I am new to this forum. I understood from sources that space-time is like a fabric. The massive bodies bend the space around it, hence the gravity. If time is 4rth dimension, so, the space is bent in time due to mass. that pretty much explains stopping of time in black holes as...
  43. C

    An astronaut has landed on Planet N-40 and conducts an experiment to

    Homework Statement An astronaut has landed on Planet N-40 and conducts an experiment to determine the acceleration due to gravity on that planet. She uses a simple pendulum that is 0.640 m long and measures that 10 complete oscillations 26.0 s. What is the acceleration of gravity on Planet...
  44. G

    Time for astronaut to reach the satellite

    So I found this problem in my 10th grade Physics workbook and since its test time tomorrow I must be able to work everything out. The problem I'm having here is just the calculations which give me a time short of one hour from the answer on the book. Anysways, please have a go: Homework...
  45. A

    Astronaut in space, calculating velocity etc

    Homework Statement Hey! I´m stuck on a physics problem. I had to translate this problem into English, so please excuse any grammar mistakes! An astronaut is on a mission in space. He is currently outside his spaceship which is standing still. The astronauts lifeline breaks, and he starts...
  46. S

    Astronaut Chris Hadfield interview

    I was reading an interview on NPR with Cris Hadfield, recently retired Canadian astronaut, who has performed EVAs from both a shuttle and from the ISS. His words seem quite unequivocal, that space is an endless blackness in all directions. Am I to take his words at face value?
  47. Saitama

    Astronaut at centre of tetrahedron

    Homework Statement An astronaut in the International Space-station attaches himself to the four vertices of a regular tetrahedron shaped frame with 4 springs. The mass of the springs and their rest length are negligible, their spring constants are ##D_1=150 N/m##, ##D_2=250 N/m##, ##D_3=300...
  48. H

    How Does the Twin Paradox Affect Aging in Space Travel?

    Everyone knows that paradox. In true we can say who person is standing,so If we say that the person in Earth is standing,then the clock of astronaut will run slower. Else,if we say that astronaut is standing and that Earth is moving,we see the clock of Earth's person to run slower. So in true...
  49. N

    Momentum of an astronaut floating in space

    Homework Statement You have been hired to check the technical correctness of an upcoming sci-fi thriller film. The movie takes place in the space shuttle. In one scene, an astronaut's safety line is damaged while she is on a space walk, so she is no longer connected to the space...
  50. E

    What is the velocity of a 90kg astronaut traveling in outer space?

    Homework Statement What is the velocity of a 90kg astronaut traveling in outer space with constant velocity? Homework Equations W=mass*acceleration The Attempt at a Solution