Upcoming Milestone: 500th Person in Space

Article written: 16 Jun , 2009
Updated: 24 Dec , 2015
by

[/caption]
An historic milestone will be reached during the STS-127 space shuttle mission to the International Space Station, which will hopefully launch on Wednesday. The crew will include the 500th person ever to fly in space. Since there are four rookie astronauts on the mission, it’s a bit of a coin toss as to who is actually the 500th, but seemingly the crew has agreed that former naval commander Chris Cassidy, 39, who has led combat missions in Afghanistan, will take the honor.

A few notables of the 499 who have gone before, below, and a quick report that things look good so far for Endeavour’s second launch attempt. NASA is shooting for 5:40:52 a.m. Wednesday (9:40 GMT) on Wednesday June 17.

Workers on Kennedy Space Center's Launch Pad 39A prepare to remove the 7-inch quick disconnect and flight seal from the Ground Umbilical Carrier Plate, or GUCP, on space shuttle Endeavour's external fuel tank. Teams are removing the hardware to change out seals in the internal connection points. The GUCP is the overboard vent to the pad and the flare stack where the vented hydrogen is burned off.  Credit: NASA

Workers on Kennedy Space Center's Launch Pad 39A prepare to remove the 7-inch quick disconnect and flight seal from the Ground Umbilical Carrier Plate, or GUCP, on space shuttle Endeavour's external fuel tank. Teams are removing the hardware to change out seals in the internal connection points. The GUCP is the overboard vent to the pad and the flare stack where the vented hydrogen is burned off. Credit: NASA

Click on image for a really huge version.

On Tuesday, engineers pulled a protective gantry away from the shuttle Endeavour and restarted the orbiter’s countdown Tuesday, setting the stage for launch. There are no technical problems of any significance and forecasters are predicting an 80 percent chance of good weather at launch time. You can watch NASA TV or follow Nancy on Twitter for updates.

Back to the list of space travelers – check out Robert Perlman’s complete list at collectSpace, but here are a few notables:

#1 on the list, of course is Russian Yuri Gagarin, with his flight in 1961.

#12 was the first woman in space, another Russian, Valentina Tereshkova, in 1963.

First US woman was Sally Ride, but she is pretty far down the list at #122.

#200 is newly named NASA administrator Charles Bolden.

Source: collectSpace,


3 Responses

  1. Maxwell says

    Its kinda depressing if you ask me.
    A half century on into multiple space programs, everyone who’s ever flown in space could fit aboard a single 747 flight. With room to spare for crew and baggage even.

    I’m not so sure its a failure of the technology or lack of destinations. Simply that government organized flights have other concerns at heart than the simple task of people moving.

    We are too far behind the curve to consider this progress.

  2. Jon Hanford says

    Oh no!. At 1:55am EDT NASA has decided to scrub the Wed morning liftoff of STS-127 due to a hydrogen leak in the same area as last time. Bummer !

  3. Torbjorn Larsson OM says

    Other notables are the commercial and China entries. The rocket plane suborbital flights takes a special place in my heart. (I see from Wikipedia that Walker made 2 in X-15 already 1963.) Enough height to see Earth curvature must count as “space experience”.

    @ Maxwell:

    I know what you mean, but it would be a very expensive 747 flight.

    Counting on a flight basis, however, would probably make two planes. (Seems the largest, seat-wise, 747 was a 600+ seater on short flights?!)

    Speaking of progress, now that commercial and China programs starts up there will shortly be more activity. In fact, looking at the list China has already made an impact with ~ 10 % average since their start. Not bad for runner ups!

Leave a Reply