is a person who pilots a spacecraft or works in space. In Russia and the other former
Soviet republics, such people are called cosmonauts. Astronauts and cosmonauts operate
spacecraft and space stations, launch and recapture satellites, and conduct engineering,
medical, and scientific experiments in space. The word astronaut comes from Greek
words that mean sailor among the stars. Cosmonaut means sailor of the universe.
Most American astronauts work for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration
(NASA). They live and train at the Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center in Houston (Reeko's
On July 20, 1969, astronauts Neil A. Armstrong and Edwin E. Aldrin, Jr., became
the first people to set foot on the moon. They landed the Apollo 11 lunar module
Eagle and performed scientific experiments. Other astronauts made five more moon
landings from 1969 to 1972. They brought back lunar dust and rock and left five
scientific stations on the moon.