NASA's Mars 2020 will blaze a trail for humans

When a female astronaut first sets foot on the moon in 2024, the historic moment will represent a step toward another NASA first: eventually putting humans on Mars. NASA's latest robotic mission to the Red Planet, Mars 2020, ...

The radiation showstopper for Mars exploration

An astronaut on a mission to Mars could receive radiation doses up to 700 times higher than on our planet—a major showstopper for the safe exploration of our solar system. A team of European experts is working with ESA ...

NASA unveils schedule for 'Artemis' 2024 Moon mission

NASA on Thursday unveiled the calendar for the "Artemis" program that will return astronauts to the Moon for the first time in half a century, including eight scheduled launches and a mini-station in lunar orbit by 2024.

Astronaut

An astronaut or cosmonaut is a person trained by a human spaceflight program to command, pilot, or serve as a crew member of a spacecraft. While generally reserved for professional space travelers, the term is sometimes applied to anyone who travels into space, including scientists, politicians, journalists, and tourists.

Until 2003, astronauts were sponsored and trained exclusively by governments, either by the military, or by civilian space agencies. However, with the sub-orbital flight of the privately-funded SpaceShipOne in 2004, a new category of astronaut was created: the commercial astronaut.

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