The STS-93 crew
Remember all those embarrassing solo class photos you had to take in high school? You know, the ones sitting on the kitchen table at the ‘rents house in plain view that you stealthily rip out of their cheap, plastic frame and stuff deep into the garbage can when no one’s looking? Well, rest assured, because those pictures capturing either the most awkward years of your life or the morning after a bitchin’ party aren’t the only laughable portraits out there for everyone to see; astronauts, the ones who get to look at all of Earth from space, have had to pose for the camera in their big, poofy, dumb space suits since the beginning of space exploration, which, in your favor, is on public archive for all of Earth to see.
Astronaut L. Gordon Cooper, Jr – One of the original seven Project Mercury astronauts, the first manned space effort by the US. He was the first American to sleep in orbit, and was the last American to be launched alone into Earth’s orbit, conducting an entire orbital mission solo. (via)
On June 16th, 1963 Valentina Tereshkova piloted the Vostok 6 and became the first woman in space. Her three-day mission included performing various tests on herself and recording the female body’s reaction to space. (via)
Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin was the second man to walk on the moon and the first person to conduct a religious ceremony on the moon — he gave himself communion. (via)
Rick Mastracchio, part of the STS-106 Atlantis crew in 2000, successfully prepared the ISS for the arrival of the first permanent crew by delivering more than 6,000 pounds of supplies and the installation of electronics, toilets, and treadmills. (via)
Charles Duke became the tenth person to walk on the moon as the Lunar Module pilot of Apollo 16 in 1972.(via)
Dr. Guion Stewart Bluford Jr. became the first African American in space on the Space Shuttle Challenger’s STS-8 mission in 1983. However, Arnaldo Tamayo Méndez takes the cake as both the first person of African descent and the first Hispanic person to go to space. (via)
Sally Ride was the first American woman, and then-youngest American, to enter space in 1983. (via)
Mae Jemison was the first African-American woman to travel in space, on Space Shuttle Endeavor, 1992 (via)
Kenneth Dwane “Sox” Bowersox, commander, veteran of five Shuttle missions
Liu Yang, or “Little Flying Knight,” became the first Chinese woman in space on June 16th, 2012 on the space mission, Shenzhou 9.
Storey Musgrave, the only astronaut to have flown missions on all five Space Shuttles. (via)
Eugene Cernan, the last man on the moon. (via)
Pamela A. Melroy, pilot
Virgil “Gus” Grissom and John Young, astronauts on the first Gemini mission (via)
Jeffrey S. Ashby, two time Shuttle pilot (via)
Rusty Schweickart, the Lunar Module pilot on the Apollo 9 mission, who performed the first in-space test of the Portable Life Support System (via)
Astronaut Jim Reilly poses with R2-D2 and a lightsaber, as part of a promotion.
Leland D. Melvin, two time Shuttle astronaut, and 11th round draftee by the Detroit Lions in the 1986 NFL Draft, as a wide receiver.
Clayton C. Anderson, who has spent 152 days on board the International Space Station (via)
Jeffrey Hoffman, the first Jewish man in space (via)
STS-115 Mission Specialists, from left to right in the back row: Heidemarie Stefanyshyn-Piper, Joseph Tanner, Daniel Burbank, and Steve MacLean. Brent Jett (right) and Christopher Ferguson, commander and pilot, respectively, border the mission insignia. (via)