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 terms are sometimes applied to anyone who travels into space, including scientists, politicians, journalists, and tourists. Until 2002, astronauts were sponsored and trained exclusively by governments, either by the military, or by civilian space agencies.
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Returning to Earth from the International Space Station, Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield remarked how making the right ...