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International Astronomy Day 2020: Top 10 astronauts of all time

Astronomy Day is an annual event to provide a means of interaction between the general public and various astronomy enthusiasts, groups and professionals.

By Shruti Kaushal
Updated on :
International Astronomy Day 2020, top 10 astronauts of all time

The Astronomy day is generally celebrated twice a year in autumn and spring. The day occurs on a Saturday closest to the first quarter Moon that comes during September and October.

Astronomy Day is an annual event to provide a means of interaction between the general public and various astronomy enthusiasts, groups and professionals.


This event was started in 1973 by Doug Berger, the president of the Astronomical Association of Northern California. He intended to set up various telescopes in busy urban locations so that passersby could enjoy views of the sky. Since then the event has expanded and is now sponsored by several organizations associated with astronomy.

Astronomy Day events take place at hundreds of sites across India and the United States. Internationally,  England, Canada, New Zealand, Finland, Sweden, the Philippines, Argentina, Malaysia, New Guinea, and many other countries have hosted Astronomy Day activities. Each location plans and executes events that work best for their local area.

Here are the top 10 astronauts of all time:

Neil Armstrong

Neil Armstrong

The first man to walk on the moon on July 20, 1969, Neil A. Armstrong, was born in Wapakoneta, Ohio, on August 5, 1930. He began his NASA career in Ohio. During his long career as a pilot, Armstrong flew more than 200 different aircraft, from jets to gliders and even helicopters.

John Young

NASA’s longest-serving astronaut, John Young became an astronaut when the agency was flying two-man space capsules. He left when the agency was flying the space shuttle. In between, he flew six space missions and became the first person to fly six space missions. In 2004, with an impressive 15,000 hours of spaceflight training across four decades, Young retired from the agency.

Jim Lovell

Jim Lovell is a former NASA astronaut and retired U.S. Naval captain who made several historic space flights from 1965-70 which included trips orbiting the moon and commanding the famous Apollo 13 mission.

John Glenn

The first U.S. astronaut to orbit Earth, John Glenn completed three orbits in 1962. He made the first transcontinental flight with an average supersonic speed in 1957 when he flew from California to New York in 3 hours and 23 minutes. He was promoted to lieutenant colonel in 1959.

Michael Collins

Astronaut Michael Collins, often called “the forgotten astronaut”.  He flew to the Moon aboard Apollo 11 in July 1969, but never set foot there. During the mission, Collins orbited the Moon, doing photography and keeping the command module ready to receive moonwalkers Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin when they finished their surface mission.

Kalpana Chawla

The first Indian-American scientist / NASA astronaut, Kalpana Chawla was one of seven crew members killed in the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster. On her first space mission (November 19, 1997) with the crew of the Space Shuttle Columbia, she traveled over 10.4 million miles in 252 orbits of the Earth, logging more than 360 hours in space.

Sunita Williams

Sunita Williams holds the records for the longest single space flight by women, maximum spacewalks by women, and most spacewalk time for a woman. Williams began her astronaut candidate training at the Johnson Space Center in August 1998. Sunita Williams had also been awarded the Navy Commendation Medal twice.

She was also awarded the Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel Vishwa Pratibha Award by the World Gujarati Society, the first person of Indian descent who was not an Indian citizen to be presented the award.

Chris Hadfield

Colonel Chris Hadfield is the first Canadian astronaut to live aboard the International Space Station.  In December 2012, he embarked on a five-month stay in space, where his twitter posts about life from the International Space Station made him a celebrity.

Mark Kelly

Caption Kelly flew his first of four missions into space in 2001 aboard Space Shuttle Endeavour, the same space shuttle he commanded on its final flight in May 2011. Mark has spent more than 50 days in space, and has lived on the International Space Station.

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