The Space Race: Key Astronauts and their Achievements

Learn about the outstanding accomplishments of significant space race astronauts. Explore the pioneering expeditions and contributions to space exploration by Yuri Gagarin and Neil Armstrong. Discover these pioneers’ tales in this thorough look at the most important players in the Space Race.

Yuri GagarinFirst human in space
Alan ShepardFirst American in space
John GlennFirst American to orbit Earth
Valentina TereshkovaFirst woman in space
Neil ArmstrongFirst person on the moon
Buzz AldrinSecond person on the moon
Michael CollinsOrbited the moon during Apollo 11
Sally RideFirst American woman in space
Alexei LeonovFirst person to walk in space
Jim LovellCommand Module Pilot of Apollo 13
Valeri PolyakovLongest single spaceflight (437 days)
Eileen CollinsFirst female Space Shuttle pilot and commander
Kalpana ChawlaIndian-American astronaut, died in the Space Shuttle
Mae JemisonFirst African-American woman in space
Peggy WhitsonMost time spent in space by an American astronaut
Chris HadfieldCanadian astronaut, commanded the ISS
Liu YangFirst Chinese woman in space
Samantha CristoforettiLongest single spaceflight by a woman (199 days)
Scott KellySpent a year aboard the ISS for the Twins Study
Yuri MalenchenkoLongest time spent on the ISS
Mae C. JemisonFirst African-American woman in space
Gene CernanLast person to walk on the moon
Yuriy UsachovCommanded the Mir space station
Peggy WhitsonFirst female commander of the ISS
Mark ShuttleworthFirst African in space
Anousheh AnsariFirst female space tourist
Sergey ProkopyevPerformed spacewalk to repair Soyuz
Luca ParmitanoFirst Italian commander of the ISS
Christina H. KochSet record for longest continuous spaceflight by a woman
Andrew R. MorganConducted multiple spacewalks on the ISS
Thomas PesquetFrench astronaut, multiple ISS missions
Yury RomanenkoCompleted three long-duration spaceflights
Rakesh SharmaFirst Indian in space
Claude NicollierSwiss astronaut, multiple Space Shuttle missions
Frank De WinneFirst European commander of the ISS
Zhang XiaoguangChinese astronaut, multiple missions
Jessica MeirConducted historic all-female spacewalk
Pedro DuqueFirst Spanish astronaut
Kjell N. LindgrenConducted multiple spacewalks on the ISS
Yelena SerovaFirst Russian woman to visit the ISS
Michael AlsburyTest pilot, died in the Virgin Galactic SpaceShipTwo crash
Timothy CreamerConducted spacewalk during STS-130
Oleg ArtemyevRussian astronaut, multiple ISS missions
Sheikh Muszaphar ShukorFirst Malaysian in space
Michael J. MassiminoPerformed spacewalks to repair Hubble Telescope
Richard R. ArnoldConducted space
Richard R. ArnoldConducted spacewalks on the ISS
Koichi WakataJapanese astronaut, multiple ISS missions
Oleg KononenkoRussian astronaut, multiple ISS missions
Andreas MogensenFirst Danish astronaut
Samantha D. CristoforettiItalian astronaut, ISS missions
Sergey RevinRussian astronaut, ISS missions
Liu BomingChinese astronaut, multiple missions
Andreas E. F. StettmerGerman astronaut, ISS missions
Koichi WakataFirst Japanese commander of the ISS
Luca ParmitanoConducted spacewalks on the ISS
Karen NybergConducted spacewalk on the ISS
Tim PeakeFirst British astronaut to visit the ISS
Robert H. Lawrence Jr.First African-American astronaut (posthumously honored)
Kathy SullivanFirst American woman to walk in space
Jeanette EppsAfrican-American astronaut, assigned to ISS mission
Vande Hei, Mark T.Long-duration spaceflight on ISS
Haigneré, ClaudieFrench astronaut, multiple spaceflights
Fincke, Michael E.Multiple ISS missions, spacewalks
Ivanishin, AnatoliRussian astronaut, ISS missions
Wakata, KoichiFirst Japanese commander of the ISS
Kimiya YuiJapanese astronaut, ISS missions
Kornienko, MikhailConducted one-year mission on the ISS
Peake, TimothyBritish astronaut, ISS mission
Whitson, Peggy A.First female commander of the ISS
Ryzhikov, SergeyRussian astronaut, ISS missions
Fischer, Jack D.Conducted spacewalks on the ISS
Mackey, Jerry L.Astronaut candidate, did not fly
Metcalf-Lindenburger, DottieSpace Shuttle mission
Behnken, Robert L.Multiple Space Shuttle missions, ISS missions
Noguchi, SoichiJapanese astronaut, multiple missions
Wilson, Stephanie D.Astronaut candidate, did not fly
Hopkins, Michael S.Long-duration spaceflight on the ISS
Glover, Victor J.African-American astronaut, ISS mission
Rubins, KathleenConducted spacewalk on the ISS
Pesquet, ThomasFrench astronaut, multiple missions
Kimbrough, Robert H.Conducted spacewalks on the ISS
Acaba, Joseph M.Multiple Space Shuttle missions, ISS missions
Tingle, Scott D.Astronaut candidate, did not fly
Prokopyev, SergeyRussian astronaut, ISS missions
Artemyev, OlegConducted spacewalks on the ISS
McClain, Anne C.Conducted spacewalks on the ISS
Hague, Tyler N.Astronaut candidate, ISS mission
Koch, Christina H.Conducted spacewalks on the ISS
Skvortsov, AlekseyRussian astronaut

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