Friday, 12 October 2018

Astronaut Cosmonaut

I was somewhat confused yesterday in a BBC News report where it was said that an American astronaut and a Russian cosmonaut had escaped from a malfunctioning Soyuz rocket. I thought an astronaut and a cosmonaut were basically the same thing and the announcer could have equally said that and two astronauts, one American and one Russian, had escaped.

It turns out that while they are similar, they're not the same. The astronauts have to be young and not older than 40 years of age. They should also have a height less than 5’11.” A cosmonaut should be younger than 30 years of age and should have a height less than 5’7. Also their training is different, as are their functions, hence they are job titles.

An interesting fact is that a Payload Commander is not considered to be an astronaut, as a PLC has not been through the same training.

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