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.
The first American to orbit the Earth, John Glenn was an astronaut, aviator, politician, and businessman. Beginning his career as an army man, he was a fighter pilot in World War II. He later joined NASA and was one of the Mercury Seven. Following his retirement from NASA, he became a politician and served in the US Senate.
Alan Shepard was an astronaut and the first American to travel into space. In 1971, Shepard became the fifth and oldest astronaut to walk on the Moon; he was 47 years and 80 days old at that time. From 1963 to 1969, he played an important role as the Chief of the Astronaut Office. His work inspired several TV series.
Retired American astronaut Jim Lovell commanded the iconic Apollo 13 mission and was one of the first three human beings to fly to the Moon, orbit it, and get back to Earth. He had also been a US Navy captain. Following his retirement, Lovell launched a restaurant in Lake Forest.
Sunita Williams is an American US Navy officer and astronaut. She formerly held the records for most spacewalk time for a woman and most spacewalks by a woman. In 2007, she became the first person to run a marathon in space. She has several honors under her belt, including a NASA Spaceflight Medal, Humanitarian Service Medal, and Navy Commendation Medal.
Michael Collins is an American astronaut who became the fourth person to perform a spacewalk. He is also the second person to orbit the Moon alone. Collins is best known for flying the Apollo 11 command module Columbia while Buzz Aldrin and Neil Armstrong landed on the Moon. In 1969, Michael Collins was honored with the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
Gus Grissom was the second U.S. astronaut to fly into space. The Distinguished Flying Cross-winner had fought in World War II and the Korean War before being part of Mercury-Redstone 4 and Project Gemini. He died during a pre-launch test of the Apollo 1 mission, along with two colleagues.
Christa McAuliffe was an American astronaut and teacher who died while serving as a payload specialist on board Space Shuttle Challenger, which exploded during STS-51-L. McAuliffe was all set to become the first teacher in space as she was part of the NASA Teacher in Space Project. In 2004, she was posthumously honored with the Congressional Space Medal of Honor.
Former NASA astronaut Mae Jemison became the first Black woman to fly into space, as a mission specialist on the Space Shuttle Endeavour. A qualified physician, she has served as a Peace Corps doctor, too. She has written several books and established a non-profit and a tech research organization.
Soviet cosmonaut Vladimir Komarov was the first from his country to fly into space twice. He died when his Soyuz 1 capsule crashed while re-entering the Earth, due to a parachute failure, on April 24, 1967, which made him the first human to die in a space flight.
Mark Kelly is a businessman, politician, retired U.S. Navy captain, and former astronaut. He is the current junior US Senator from Arizona. As a naval aviator, he played a major role during the Gulf War where he flew combat missions after which he was chosen as a NASA Space Shuttle pilot. In 2008, he commanded the Space Shuttle mission STS-124.
Chris Hadfield is a Canadian former astronaut, engineer, and singer. Hadfield, who has served in the International Space Station as a commander, is credited with flying two Space Shuttle missions. He is also the first Canadian to successfully carry out an extravehicular activity in space. Before becoming an astronaut, he served as an Air Command fighter pilot for 25 years.
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.
Part of the seven Project Mercury astronauts, Gordon Cooper manned a 34-hour space mission, becoming the first American to stay for a day in space. As part of the Gemini 5 mission, he and his co-pilot proved it was possible for astronauts to survive a mission to the Moon and back.
Jack Swigert was an American astronaut who flew to the moon and spent nearly six days in space. He was an engineer who also held a masters degree in business administration. He was involved in the infamous Apollo 15 postal covers incident. He ventured into politics with mixed fortunes. He was elected to the US Congress but died before being sworn in.
A doctorate in physics from MIT Cambridge, Ronald McNair worked on chemical lasers before joining NASA and in 1984 flew as a mission specialist on STS-41-B aboard Challenger, becoming the second African-American to do so. In January 1986, he was selected to fly on STS-51-L, but was killed along with rest of the crews when Challenger disintegrated soon after liftoff.
Former NASA astronaut and U.S. Navy captain Lisa Nowak was part of the STS-121 mission. She made headlines when she apparently attempted to kidnap Air Force captain Colleen Shipman, who was getting into a relationship with astronaut William Oefelein, who had previously dated Nowak. Nowak was subsequently dismissed from NASA.
Judith Resnik was an American software engineer, electrical engineer, pilot, biomedical engineer, and NASA astronaut. She was the fourth woman and the first Jewish woman in space, logging 145 hours in orbit. Resnik, who died during the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster in 1986, received several posthumous honors. Judith Resnik’s life and career inspired the 1990 TV movie Challenger.
John Young was an American naval officer, astronaut, aeronautical engineer, and test pilot. In 1972, he commanded the Apollo 16 mission and became only the ninth person to walk on the Moon. John Young was the recipient of several awards, including the NASA Exceptional Achievement Medal. In 1982, he was made an inductee of the International Space Hall of Fame.
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.
Pete Conrad was an American aeronautical engineer, NASA astronaut, aviator, test pilot, and naval officer. He is credited with commanding the Apollo 12 mission, during which he became only the third person ever to walk on the Moon. Apart from winning awards like the Harmon Trophy, Pete Conrad was also inducted into several Astronaut and Aviation Halls of Fame.
Scott Carpenter was an American aviator, aeronautical engineer, test pilot, naval officer, aquanaut, and astronaut. He achieved popularity in 1959, when he became one of the seven astronauts chosen for NASA's Project Mercury. Scott Carpenter was the recipient of several prestigious awards, including the NASA Distinguished Service Medal. In 1981, he was inducted into the International Space Hall of Fame.
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.
Wally Schirra was an American NASA astronaut, test pilot, and naval aviator. He achieved popularity in 1959, when he became one of the seven astronauts chosen for Project Mercury. In 1962, he was part of Mercury-Atlas 8 and became only the ninth human to travel into space. Wally Schirra was portrayed by Lance Henriksen in the film, The Right Stuff.
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.
Harrison Schmitt is an American geologist, university professor, and former NASA astronaut. He also served as the US Senator from New Mexico from 1977 to 1983. In 1972, Schmitt became a crew member of Apollo 17 and subsequenly the second-youngest person to walk on the Moon. In 1973, Harrison Schmitt was honored with the NASA Distinguished Service Medal.
The first woman to command the International Space Station, NASA astronaut Peggy Whitson was born to farmers and decided to become an astronaut after watching the moon landing on TV. She also boasts of a PhD in biochemistry and has been a researcher and educator of biochemistry and genetic engineering.
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.
Eugene Cernan was an American naval aviator, astronaut, aeronautical engineer, electrical engineer, and fighter pilot. As of 2022, Cernan remains the last man to walk on the Moon, which he did in 1972 as part of the Apollo 17 mission. In 2007, Eugene Cernan was made an inductee of the International Air & Space Hall of Fame.
Roger B. Chaffee was an American aviator, naval officer, NASA astronaut, and aeronautical engineer. In 1963, Chaffee was chosen by NASA to be part of Astronaut Group 3, a group of 14 astronauts selected for the Apollo and Gemini program. In 1983, Roger B. Chaffee was made an inductee of the International Space Hall of Fame.
Alan Bean was an American aviator, test pilot, aeronautical engineer, NASA astronaut, US naval officer, and painter. He was part of Astronaut Group 3 and was only the fourth person ever to walk on the Moon. Apart from being honored with prestigious awards, Alan Bean was also made an inductee of several Astronaut and Aviation Halls of Fame.
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.
Mark Shuttleworth is a South African-British entrepreneur. He is credited with founding Canonical, the company that developed the popular Linux-based Ubuntu operating system. Mark Shuttleworth became the first African from an independent country and the first South African to travel to space; he traveled as a space tourist in 2002.
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.
Jessica Meir is an American-Swedish physiologist, marine biologist, and NASA astronaut. She is best known for her studies of the physiology of bar-headed geese and the behavior and diving physiology of emperor penguins. In 2020, Jessica Meir was named in Time magazine's Most Influential People list.