Timeline of space travel by nationality

Since the first human spaceflight by the Soviet Union, citizens of 41 countries have flown in space. For each nationality, the launch date of the first mission is listed. The list is based on the nationality of the person at the time of the launch. Only 3 of the 42 "first flyers" have been women (Helen Sharman for the United Kingdom in 1991, Anousheh Ansari for Iran in 2006, and Yi So-yeon for South Korea in 2008). Only three nations (Soviet Union/Russia, U.S., China) have launched their own crewed spacecraft, with the Soviets/Russians and the American programs providing rides to other nations' astronauts. Twenty-seven "first flights" occurred on Soviet or Russian flights while the United States carried fourteen.

Map of countries (and successor states) whose citizens have flown in space as of September 2019.
Note: citizens from the now-defunct East Germany, Czechoslovakia, and Soviet Union have also flown in space.


Note: All dates given are UTC. Countries indicated in bold have achieved independent human spaceflight capability.


  1. The first cosmonaut, Yuri Gagarin, held citizenship in both the Soviet Union and the Russian SFSR, according to the applicable provisions of the Constitution of the Soviet Union. On 26 December 1991, the Soviet Union dissolved, and was replaced by Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Russia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, and Uzbekistan; Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania restored their independence. At the time of the dissolution, Sergei Krikalev and Alexander Volkov were orbiting Earth on Mir, having been launched into orbit as Soviet citizens, and having returned to the Earth as Russian citizens. Aleksandr Kaleri and Aleksandr Viktorenko were the first Russians to be launched into orbit as Russian citizens only, their launch having occurred subsequent to the dissolution of the Soviet Union.
  2. Under Fédération Aéronautique Internationale rules, the Vostok missions are not deemed true spaceflights, as cosmonauts did not land with the spacecraft (they ejected from the spacecraft and landed separately). The first Soviet mission that did fulfill this requirement was Voskhod 1. (Reference: "FAI Astronautic Records Commission – Sporting Code Section 8" (PDF). Fédération Aéronautique Internationale. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2006-05-26. Retrieved 2006-04-09.) However, despite this issue, the FAI does recognize Yuri Gagarin as the first person to complete a spaceflight. (Reference: "FAI Award: The Yuri A. Gagarin Gold Medal". Fédération Aéronautique Internationale. Archived from the original on 2007-10-13. Retrieved 2007-10-10.)
  3. Shepard's spaceflight was suborbital. The first American to be launched into Earth orbit was John Glenn, on 20 February 1962.
  4. In 1993, Czechoslovakia dissolved and was replaced by the Czech Republic and Slovakia.
  5. In 1978, both Jähn himself and the German Democratic Republic pronounced him the "first German in space", rather than the first "citizen of the German Democratic Republic in space". In 1990, the states of the former East Germany acceded to the Federal Republic of Germany. On 22 January 1992, Ulf Merbold again traveled into space, now representing the reunited Germany within the Federal Republic of Germany. Jähn is, nevertheless, still considered the first German in space, even in the states of the Federal Republic of Germany that comprised the former West Germany.
  6. This person flew as a commercial, non-governmental space traveller. Apart from Akiyama and Sharman, these space travellers are known as space tourists.
  7. Ilan Ramon was the first Israeli to go into space, but Ramon died during reentry during the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster. Again, this was not deemed a complete spaceflight under FAI rules.
  8. Although recognized as an Iranian citizen by Iranian law, Ansari is also an American citizen and was prohibited from wearing Iranian state symbols by both the United States and Russian governments.
  9. This flight was suborbital.

Other claimsEdit

The above list uses the nationality at the time of launch. Lists with differing criteria might include the following people:



  1. ^ a b "BBC News - Sci/Tech - Expensive ticket to ride". News.bbc.co.uk. Retrieved 11 August 2017.
  2. ^ "BBC News - SCI/TECH - Space tourist lifts off". News.bbc.co.uk. Retrieved 11 August 2017.
  3. ^ "BBC NEWS - Science/Nature - Lift-off for woman space tourist". News.bbc.co.uk. Retrieved 11 August 2017.
  4. ^ MAN IN THE NEWS: FRANKLIN R. CHANG-DIAZ; A DREAMER IN SPACE, Malcolm W. Browne, The New York Times, January 13, 1986
  5. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2015-04-29. Retrieved 2015-08-19.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  6. ^ Bukharbayeva, Bagila (20 June 2004). "Kazakhstan Gets a Bigger Say in Space Launch Site". Articles.latimes.com. Retrieved 11 August 2017.

External linksEdit