Timeline of space travel by nationality

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Map of countries (and successor states) whose citizens have flown in space as of January 2024. Countries represented only by suborbital space flyers are shaded.
Note: citizens from the now-defunct East Germany, Czechoslovakia, and Soviet Union have also flown in space. Astronaut Nationalities.svg
Map of countries (and successor states) whose citizens have flown in space as of January 2024. Countries represented only by suborbital space flyers are shaded.
Note: citizens from the now-defunct East Germany, Czechoslovakia, and Soviet Union have also flown in space.

Since the first human spaceflight by the Soviet Union, citizens of 47 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 6 of 47 countries have been represented by female "first flyers" (Helen Sharman for the United Kingdom in 1991, Anousheh Ansari for Iran in 2006, Yi So-yeon for South Korea in 2008, Sara Sabry for Egypt in 2022, and Keisha Schahaff and Anastatia Mayers for Antigua and Barbuda in 2023 Namira Salim for Pakistan in 2023). 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 eighteen.



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


  1. 1 2 3 4 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. Shepard's spaceflight was suborbital. The first American to be launched into Earth orbit was John Glenn, on 20 February 1962.
  3. 1 2 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.
  4. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 This person flew as a commercial, non-governmental space traveller. Apart from Akiyama and Sharman, these space travellers are known as space tourists.
  5. In 1993, Czechoslovakia dissolved and was replaced by the Czech Republic and Slovakia.
  6. Ilan Ramon was the first Israeli to go into space, but Ramon died during reentry during the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster. His close friend and colleague, Eytan Stibbe, would later become the first Israeli to return from space alive, with the conclusion of Axiom-1 in 2022.
  7. 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.
  8. 1 2 3 4 5 This flight was suborbital.
  9. 1 2 This was a suborbital flight aboard a SpaceShipTwo vehicle. SpaceShipTwo flights surpass the U.S. definition of spaceflight (50 mi (80.47 km)), but fall short of the Kármán line (100 km (62.14 mi)), the FAI definition used for most space recordkeeping.

Other claims

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

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  4. "'It's not tourism for me': Meet Australia's next space traveller". smh.com.au. Retrieved 20 June 2022.
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