Famous 21st Century Aviators

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 1 
Scott Kelly
(American Engineer, Retired Naval Aviator, and Astronaut)
Scott Kelly
16
Birthdate: February 21, 1964
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: City of Orange, New Jersey, United States

Scott Kelly is an American engineer, retired naval aviator, and astronaut. He is credited with commanding the International Space Station on three Expeditions. Scott Kelly is the recipient of several awards and honors, such as the NASA Distinguished Service Medal and National Defense Service Medal.

 2 
Ronnie Corbett
(Comedian, Author, Writer, Film actor, Stage actor, Cabaret artist, Aviator)
Ronnie Corbett
12
Birthdate: December 4, 1930
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Edinburgh
Died: March 31, 2016
Height: 5'0" (152 cm)
 3 
Fred Haise
(American Astronaut Who Became the Sixth Person to Walk on the Moon)
Fred Haise
6
Birthdate: November 14, 1933
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Biloxi, Mississippi, United States

Fred Haise is an American retired engineer, NASA astronaut, and test pilot. He also served as a fighter pilot for the U.S. Air Force and U.S. Marine Corps. He was part of Apollo 13 and is one of 24 astronauts to have flown to the Moon. Fred Haise is the recipient of prestigious awards, including the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

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 4 
Russell Johnson
(American Actor Best Remembered for His Role in the Sitcom 'Gilligan's Island')
Russell Johnson
14
Birthdate: November 10, 1924
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Ashley, Pennsylvania, United States
Died: January 16, 2014

Russell Johnson was an American actor best remembered for his portrayal of Professor Roy Hinkley in the popular sitcom, Gilligan's Island. Prior to his acting career, Russell Johnson enlisted in the US Army Air Forces and played an important role during World War II. He was honored with the Purple Heart, Air Medal, and the World War II Victory Medal.

 5 
Neil Armstrong
(The First Person to Walk on the Moon)
Neil Armstrong
16
Birthdate: August 5, 1930
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Wapakoneta, Ohio, United States
Died: August 25, 2012

The first person to walk on the Moon, Neil Armstrong was an astronaut and aeronautical engineer. Prior to his trip to the Moon, he became NASA's first civilian astronaut to fly in space. After resigning from NASA, he taught in the Department of Aerospace Engineering at the University of Cincinnati. He was a Presidential Medal of Freedom awardee.

 6 
Ken Mattingly
(American Astronaut and One of the 24 People to Have Flown to the Moon)
Ken Mattingly
6
Birthdate: March 17, 1936
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Chicago, Illinois, United States

Ken Mattingly is a retired aviator, test pilot, aeronautical engineer, astronaut, and rear admiral in the US Navy. He was part of Apollo-16 and is one of 24 astronauts to have flown to the Moon. Mattingly is the recipient of numerous awards, including the NASA Distinguished Service Medal. In 1983, he was inducted into the International Space Hall of Fame.

 7 
Frank Borman
(NASA Astronaut Who was the Commander of 'Apollo 8' Mission)
Frank Borman
7
Birthdate: March 14, 1928
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Gary

Frank Borman is an American former US Air Force colonel, test pilot, aeronautical engineer, businessman, and NASA astronaut. The commander of Apollo 8, Borman was the first of 24 astronauts to have flown to the Moon. In 1982, Frank Borman was made an inductee of the International Space Hall of Fame.

 8 
Edgar Mitchell
(American Astronaut Who was the Sixth Person to Walk on the Moon)
Edgar Mitchell
5
Birthdate: September 17, 1930
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Hereford, Texas, United States
Died: February 4, 2016

Edgar Mitchell was an American aviator, United States Navy officer, test pilot, NASA astronaut, ufologist, and aeronautical engineer. In 1971, Mitchell became only the sixth person ever to walk on the Moon. Over the course of his illustrious career, Edgar Mitchell was honored with several prestigious awards, such as the Presidential Medal of Freedom and the NASA Distinguished Service Medal.   

 9 
Charles Duke
(Former NASA Astronaut Who Became the Youngest Person to Walk on the Moon)
Charles Duke
5
Birthdate: October 3, 1935
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Charlotte

Former NASA astronaut Charles Duke has also been a USAF officer and test pilot. At 36, he became the youngest astronaut to walk on the surface of the Moon. Throughout his illustrious career, he went on 5 Apollo missions. He is also an international public speaker.

 10 
Guion Bluford
(Former NASA Astronaut Who Became the 1st African-American to Go into Space)
Guion Bluford
7
Birthdate: November 22, 1942
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States

Retired US Air Force officer and NASA astronaut Guion Bluford scripted history as the 2nd African-origin person and the 1st African-American to go into space. A trained fighter pilot, he also flew over 100 combat missions in the Vietnam War. The STS-8 Orbiter Challenger crew member later worked in IT and engineering services.

 11 
George Stephen Morrison
(US Navy Rear Admiral Who Commanded the American Forces in the Gulf of Tonkin Incident)
George Stephen Morrison
7
Birthdate: January 7, 1919
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Rome, Georgia, United States
Died: November 17, 2008

US Navy rear admiral and aviator George Stephen Morrison commanded the US forces during the 1964 Gulf of Tonkin Incident, which eventually began the Vietnam War. He had also been part of the Battle of Pearl Harbor in WWII. He is also remembered as the father of The Doors lead vocalist Jim Morrison.

 12 
MJ Hegar
(US Air Force Veteran, Bestselling Author, and Former Democratic Candidate)
MJ Hegar
7
Birthdate: March 16, 1976
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Fairfield, Connecticut, U.S.

US Air Force veteran MJ Hegar has also been a Democratic candidate for the 2020 US Senate election for Texas. Known for her bestselling autobiography Shoot Like a Girl, she was awarded the Purple Heart and the Distinguished Flying Cross with Valor for her fearless military service in Afghanistan, where she was shot at.

 13 
Burt Rutan
(American Aerospace Engineer Who Designed the Record-Breaking Plane 'Voyager')
Burt Rutan
5
Birthdate: June 17, 1943
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Estacada

Burt Rutan is an American former entrepreneur and aerospace engineer. He is best known for his ability to make strong, light, energy-efficient, and unusual-looking air and space craft. Burt Rutan is credited with designing historically significant aircrafts like the Virgin Atlantic GlobalFlyer, which set the world record for the longest and fastest nonstop circumnavigation flight in history.   

 14 
Gail Halvorsen
(US Airforce Pilot Who Dropped Candies for Children during the Berlin Airlift)
Gail Halvorsen
5
Birthdate: October 10, 1920
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Salt Lake City, Utah, United States
Died: February 16, 2022

Known as the Berlin Candy Bomber, Gail Halvorsen was a US Air Force officer and command pilot. He developed the idea of dropping candies, chocolate, and other treats for West German children, using parachutes, during the Berlin Airlift, in retaliation to the Soviet’s Berlin Blockade. He later received the Congressional Gold Medal.

 15 
Geraldyn M Cobb
(American Aviation Pioneer Who Was the First Woman to Pass Astronaut Testing)
Geraldyn M Cobb
3
Birthdate: March 5, 1931
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Norman, USA
Died: March 18, 2019

American aviation pioneer Geraldyn M. Cobb was part of the pathbreaking Mercury 13 program and scripted history as the first female candidate to pass astronaut testing. She had a pilot’s license by 18 and later found new air routes to the Andes and the Amazon rain forests and immersed herself in humanitarian work.

 16 
Sara Netanyahu
(Psychologist)
Sara Netanyahu
5
Birthdate: November 5, 1958
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Kiryat Tiv'on

Sara Netanyahu is an Israeli educational and career psychologist. She is married to former Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. She is the daughter of a Polish-born Israeli Jewish educator. She has worked as a psychotechnical evaluator and an educational psychologist. She has received much negative media attention for the mistreatment of her staff. 

 17 
Samantha Cristoforetti
(Astronaut, Aviator, Engineer)
Samantha Cristoforetti
4
Birthdate: April 26, 1977
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Milan
 18 
Story Musgrave
(US Physician and NASA Astronaut Who Became the 2nd Person to Make 6 Space Flights)
Story Musgrave
5
Birthdate: August 19, 1935
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Boston

US physician and astronaut Story Musgrave initially worked for the US Marine Corps. Before joining NASA, he gained a host of degrees, in subjects such as literature, math, and chemistry, and an MD from Columbia University. He became the 2nd astronaut to make 6 space flights and later worked for Imagineering and Applied Minds.

 19 
Dieter F. Uchtdorf
(German Aviator, Religious Leader, and Airline Executive)
Dieter F. Uchtdorf
3
Birthdate: November 6, 1940
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Ostrava, Czech Republic
 20 
Walter Cunningham
(NASA's Third Civilian Astronaut)
Walter Cunningham
2
Birthdate: March 16, 1932
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Creston

The third civilian astronaut to participate in any NASA mission, Walter Cunningham was part of the 1968 Apollo 7 mission. Initially a US Marine Corps fighter pilot, he later studied physics. Post-NASA, he worked for various enterprises and also penned the memoir The All-American Boys.

 21 
Sussan Ley
(Australian Politician and Liberal Party MP)
Sussan Ley
2
Birthdate: December 14, 1961
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Kano

British-origin Australian politician Sussan Ley was born in Nigeria and raised in the UAE and England, before moving to Australia in her teens. The Liberal Party deputy leader went on to represent Farrer in the Australian Parliament after managing ministries such as health, aged care, environment, and sport.

 22 
Rusty Schweickart
(US Astronaut Who Performed the First EVA on the Apollo 9 Mission)
Rusty Schweickart
2
Birthdate: October 25, 1935
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Neptune Township, New Jersey

NASA astronaut and USAF fighter pilot Rusty Schweickart served as the Lunar Module Pilot for the Apollo 9 mission in 1969 and became the first astronaut to perform an EVA, to test the life support system. He later co-founded the Association of Space Explorers and the B612 Foundation.

 23 
Robert Crippen
(US Astronaut Who Piloted the First Space Shuttle Mission)
Robert Crippen
2
Birthdate: September 11, 1937
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Beaumont, Texas, United States

US astronaut, naval officer, and aviator Robert Crippen was a pilot on the first Space Shuttle mission and completed 4 space flights in his career. He later served as the director of Space Shuttle and of the Kennedy Space Center. He also worked for Lockheed Martin and Thiokol.

 24 
Gennady Padalka
(World Record Holder for the Most Time Spent in Space)
Gennady Padalka
2
Birthdate: June 21, 1958
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Krasnodar

Russian Air Force officer and a Roscosmos cosmonaut Gennady Ivanovich Padalka is the current record holder for the most time spent in space. He achieved such feat spending 878 days in space over five missions (including one Mir Mission and four International Space Station Missions) and surpassing the earlier record of cosmonaut Sergei Krikalev on June 28, 2015.

 25 
Everett Alvarez Jr.
(The First US Aviator to be Shot Down during the Vietnam War)
Everett Alvarez Jr.
2
Birthdate: December 23, 1937
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Salinas, California, United States

US naval officer Everett Alvarez Jr. was the first US pilot to be shot down during the Vietnam War. Imprisoned in North Vietnam, he spent over 8 years as a POW. He later received the Prisoner of War Medal and also served as the Deputy Administrator of the Veterans Administration.

 26 
Joe Engle
(The Youngest US Pilot to Qualify as an Astronaut)
Joe Engle
2
Birthdate: August 26, 1932
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Chapman

At 32, Joe Engle became the US’s youngest pilot to qualify as an astronaut after flying his X-15 to 280,600 feet. He also commanded 2 Space Shuttle missions, including the 1981 STS-2. He was later inducted to the International Air & Space Hall of Fame.

 27 
Arnaldo Tamayo Méndez
(Cuban Astronaut, Aviator and Military Officer)
Arnaldo Tamayo Méndez
2
Birthdate: January 29, 1942
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Guantanamo, Cuba
 28 
Yves Rossy
(Aviator)
Yves Rossy
2
Birthdate: August 27, 1959
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Neuchâtel, Switzerland
 29 
Robert L. Gibson
(US Astronaut Who Commanded 4 Space Shuttle Mission Flights)
Robert L. Gibson
2
Birthdate: October 30, 1946
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Long Beach

US naval officer, aviator, and astronaut Robert L. Gibson made 5 Space Shuttle mission flights and commanded 4 of them. He has also served as the Chief of the Astronaut Office at NASA and was named to the US Astronaut Hall of Fame. Post-retirement, he began participating in air races.

 30 
John Herrington
(American Naval Aviator, Engineer and Former NASA Astronaut)
John Herrington
2
Birthdate: September 14, 1958
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Wetumka, Oklahoma, United States
 31 
Yuri Malenchenko
(Russian Retired Cosmonaut and the First Person to Marry in Space)
Yuri Malenchenko
2
Birthdate: December 22, 1961
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Svitlovodsk

Former Russian cosmonaut Yuri Malenchenko currently ranks second for the most time spent in space. He worked on missions of both Mir and International Space Station (ISS). While serving as Commander of Expedition 7 of the ISS, Malenchenko married Ekaterina Dmitrieva, who was in Texas at that time, and with this Malenchenko became the first person who married in space.  

 32 
Phạm Tuân
(Aviator)
Phạm Tuân
1
Birthdate: February 14, 1947
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Quôc Tuân, Vietnam
 33 
Forrest Bird
(Aviator)
Forrest Bird
1
Birthdate: June 9, 1921
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Stoughton, Massachusetts, United States
Died: August 2, 2015
 34 
Jerrie Mock
(Aviator)
Jerrie Mock
1
Birthdate: November 22, 1925
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Newark, Ohio, United States
Died: September 30, 2014
 35 
Elinor Smith
(Aviator)
Elinor Smith
1
Birthdate: August 17, 1911
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Long Island, New York, United States
Died: March 19, 2010
 36 
Yekaterina Budanova
(Fighter pilot)
Yekaterina Budanova
1
Birthdate: December 6, 1916
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Smolensk Oblast, Russia
Died: July 19, 1943
 37 
Niloofar Rahmani
(The First Woman in the History of Afghanistan Who Became Fixed-Wing Air Force Aviator)
Niloofar Rahmani
1
Birthdate: September 27, 1992
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Logar Province Logar, Afghanistan

Niloofar Rahmani is the first woman in Afghanistan’s history who became fixed-wing Air Force aviator. She is Afghan Air Force’s first female pilot since 2001 fall of Taliban. Despite receiving death threats, Rahmani completed her training which included training on C-130s with the US Air Force. She received International Women of Courage Award and was granted asylum in the US.

 38 
Robert Lee Scott Jr.
(Brigadier general)
Robert Lee Scott Jr.
1
Birthdate: April 12, 1908
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Macon, Georgia
Died: February 27, 2006
 39 
Diana Barnato Walker
(Pilot)
Diana Barnato Walker
1
Birthdate: January 15, 1918
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: London, United Kingdom
Died: April 28, 2008
 40 
Paul MacCready
(Aeronautical Engineer)
Paul MacCready
1
Birthdate: September 25, 1925
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: New Haven, Connecticut, United States
Died: August 28, 2007
 41 
Steve Symms
(Politician)
Steve Symms
1
Birthdate: April 23, 1938
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Nampa, Idaho, United States
 42 
Ravi Jayewardene
(Sport Shooter, Aviator)
Ravi Jayewardene
0
Birthdate: April 22, 1936
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Colombo, British Ceylon
Died: April 2, 2017
Height: 5'11" (180 cm)
 43 
David Mathieson Walker
(Astronaut)
David Mathieson Walker
0
Birthdate: May 20, 1944
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Columbus, Georgia
Died: April 23, 2001
 44 
Joe Kernan
(Politician, Businessperson)
Joe Kernan
0
Birthdate: April 8, 1946
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Chicago, Illinois, United States
Died: July 29, 2020
 45 
Betty Skelton
(Pilot)
Betty Skelton
2
Birthdate: June 28, 1926
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Pensacola, Florida, United States
Died: August 31, 2011
 46 
John Mosley
(American Football Player)
John Mosley
2
Birthdate: June 21, 1921
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Denver, Colorado, United States
Died: May 22, 2015
 47 
Evelyn Trout
(Aviator)
Evelyn Trout
2
Birthdate: January 7, 1906
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Greenup, Illinois, United States
Died: January 24, 2003
 48 
Hans Werner Grosse
(Pilot)
Hans Werner Grosse
2
Birthdate: November 29, 1922
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Swinoujscie, Poland
 49 
Ouma Laouali
(Nigerien Pilot and the First Woman to Serve as a Pilot in the Country)
Ouma Laouali
2
Birthdate: 1987 AD
Birthplace: Niger