Asni’s Art Blog: Astronaut / Cosmonaut

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Astronaut, by Bolbec on DeviantArt

Writing this blog is always an education. This week, I learned the difference between an “astronaut” and a “cosmonaut”. An astronaut is a person who travels or has traveled into earth orbit or beyond as part of a US American space mission. A cosmonaut is a person who travels or has traveled into earth orbit or beyond as part of a Soviet, or Russian space mission.

There is a slight difference in meaning. “Astronaut” derives from Greek “astron”, a star, and “nautes”, a sailor. “Cosmonaut” derives from Greek “cosmos”, the ordered universe, and “nautes”, a sailor. So astronauts travel to the stars – solid bodies. Cosmonauts travel into space – the emptiness in-between. A whole difference in cultural outlook, summed up in a slight difference in terminology.

Is it an accident, then, that the USSR has mainly profiled itself by being the first to send people into orbit? Yuri Gagarin was the first human to travel into space, and the Soviet Union also boasts the first woman to man (or would that be “woman”?) a spacecraft, Valentina Tereshkova, the first person to go on a spacewalk, Alexei Leonov, and the person who has spent the longest cumulative time in space, Gennady Padalka (Sergei Krikalev, whose portrait I have featured below, is now the person with the second most cumulative space hours).

The US, on the other hand, were the first to land a man on the moon. But this shall be next fortnight’s topic.

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Poyekhali (Yuri Gagarin), by efleck on DeviantArt
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Two Years of Weightlessness (Sergei Krikalev), by Roxie Vizcarra – roxination on DeviantArt
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Soviet cosmonaut, by Tatyana Latypova – LiannanShe on DeviantArt
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Female Astronaut, by Ridwan Chandra Choa – MeganeRid on DeviantArt
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Astronaut, by r4design on DeviantArt
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Cosmonaut, by superplex on DeviantArt
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Cosmonaut’s heaven, by Sergey Koparov – SKoparov on DeviantArt
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The Astronaut’s Tomb, by Christopher T. Shields – TiredJadedSoul on DeviantArt
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Astronaut Trio, by Saccstry on DeviantArt
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Drunk cosmonauts, by Mary Delioussina – weejeebored on DeviantArt
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Cosmonaut, by Viktor Bogdanovic – VikBogdanovic on DeviantArt
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ReadingAlieeen, by Michal Lisowski – maykrender on DeviantArt
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Astronaut, by rosie-elisabeth on DeviantArt
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Cosmonaut, by Anatoly Muschenko – TolyanMy on DeviantArt
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Cosmonaut, by Nawan Junhasiri – camelt on DeviantArt
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COSMONAUT, by Freed00m on DeviantArt

All images are copyright the respective artists, and may not be reproduced without permission.

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