Human beings have ventured into several fields and have become part and parcel of a common man’s life. Be it music, films, education, politics, the achievements of a man has inspired each other and made them popular. Today, we have brought a list of 10 astronauts who became popular icons and are world famous for their achievements.
10. Christa McAuliffe
With number of scholarships, school, colleges and research centres named after her, she became an icon in the heart of every Space enthusiast around the globe. She was basically a school teacher and had got selected in NASA “teacher in space” project which made her the first from this field to achieve such a distinction. She was selected to conduct research in Space , teach two lessons from Challenger space shuttle and according to NASA, she was a gifted teacher. But fate was not in her favour and unfortunately, she could not reach into Space. Amidst while media coverage and before every children’s eyes, the space shauttle after 73 seconds of launch, exploded in air due to a techincal fault attributed to some defect in seals. This lead to the death of all crew members.
9. Jim Lovell
He has the record of being the 1st man to fly into space four times. He was a saviour for many and a true brave heart. His Appollo 13 developed a fault and it lead to sparking and fire on it. Life saving Oxygen turned life threatening and Hydrogen fuel cells lost their functionality, but he did not lose hope and without even a pinch of panic and fear, he took the reins in his hands, manually controlled the engines and guess what… He brought eveyone back to the earth, safely. Remember Tom Hanks in Apollo 13?? he portrayed Jim Lovell. Several talk shows and movies made him an integral part.
8. Buzz Aldrin
An Engineer, an actor, a scientist, an astronaut, an Air Force officer. Buzz Aldrin was the person in Apollo 11 which made first ever manned landing on moon ever in 1969. Apart form it, he has given the theory of Alrin Cycler as well. He has been an author too. His television and filmographic appearances have made him pretty famous appearing in Transformers, Big Bang Theory etc. He has been a regular critic of NASA’s advancements and the winner of several awards and honours by various nations.
7. Alexy Leonov
A member of the communist party of the Soviet Union, he became the first man to walk in space. Being a fighter pilot in Soviet Air Force, he underwent rigorous weight loss for his mission. He has been the winner of awards by Germany, Russia, Bulgaria, Vietnam , Hungary etc. He also has the distinction of having stamps in his honour.
6. Alan Shepard
He is the oldest person to walk on the Moon. At the age of 47, he hit two golf balls on the lunar space as a mark of memory. He died of blood cancer in 1998. He was a successful businessman. He had a road, a technical centre, a post office, several awards and honors named after him. His hometown is called “Space town” because of his achievements.
5. Valeri Polyakov
Why would you live on Earth when Space is your second home, this man has the record of longest single spaceflight in history and combined, he has stayed for around 678 days in the Space. He has been awarded “Hero of USSR”, Order of Lenin and several other awards. He has spent most his time conducting research and making life science studies there in Space. Incredibly, his first flight itself was of 237 days which made his determination even more prominent.
4. Valetina tereshkova
First woman to fly into space, first civilian to fly into space and a woman whose daughter had the distinction of being the first girl both of whose parents are cosmonauts of Russia. Also Valentina has several other credentials to her honour. She was the flag bearer in Winter Olympics 2014 . Many planetariums, schools, streets , a lunar crater and a planet is named in her honor. She has the honorary citizenship of Italy, Kazakhstan, Mongolia, Bulgaria etc.
3. John Glenn
He was the 1st American to orbit the earth. He has played several roles in his lifetime, ranging from a combat aviator to an astronaut and now a senator in America. The NASA research centre in Ohio is named after him. He has to his record several defence and civilian awards like Presidential medal of freedom, China Service medal etc.
2. Neil Armstrong
An alumni of the reputed Purdue University, he was the man who took the “Giant Leap” for the whole human fraternity in 1969 and became the first ever man to land on Moon. In 2010, he was named as #1 Space Hero. He was so popular that many political groups approached him but he turned down their offers. He had also been a university professor and involved in businesses. He also served on NASA’s space accident investigations and been closely attached to space education and research as well.
1. Yuri Gagarin
The one who shuns all speculations and doubts is the one who reaches first and is remembered forever. Yuri Gagarin belongs to that category and he was the first person to go to space. He made the world believe that it is possible and after that there was no looking back . Once he went to some place where people were waiting to see him but it started raining, he insisted on staying visible to people without an umbrella, such was his personality. A sukhoi superjet was named after him, also Russia issued two commemorative coins in his honor.