Awesome Astronauts

Did you know the term ‘astronaut’ comes from the Greek words astron, meaning ‘star’, and nautes, meaning ‘sailor’? Astronauts are star sailors! Here are some more cool facts that you may not know about astronauts.


The first person to reach space was Soviet Yuri Gagarin, in 1961, on board the spacecraft Vostok 1. He orbited Earth for 108 minutes.


The farthest an astronaut has travelled from Earth is 401,056km – a feat achieved by Jim Lovell, Jack Swigert and Fred Haise aboard Apollo 13.


The International Space Station orbits around the Earth at 44,420kph. That means the astronauts inside circle the planet every 90 minutes – that’s so fast that they see 16 sunrises and sunsets a day!


Once selected, NASA astronauts spend 20 months training in a variety of areas. To simulate spacewalks and test equipment, astronauts often have to train underwater in swimming pools.


Including Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin, 12 men have walked on the moon, two from each of the six different Apollo missions.