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Dictionary Meaning and Definition on 'Cosmonaut'

Cosmonaut Meaning and Definition from WordNet (r) 2.0
    cosmonaut n : a person trained to travel in a spacecraft; "the Russians called their astronauts cosmonauts" [syn: astronaut, spaceman]

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Wikipedia Meaning and Definition on 'Cosmonaut'

An astronaut or cosmonaut is a person trained by a human spaceflight program to command, pilot, or serve as a crew member of a spacecraft. While generally reserved for professional space travelers, the term is sometimes applied to anyone who travels into space, including scientists, politicians, journalists, and tourists.

Until 2003, astronauts were sponsored and trained exclusively by governments, either by the military, or by civilian space agencies. With the sub-orbital flight of the privately-funded SpaceShipOne in 2004, a new category of astronaut was created: the commercial astronaut.

The criteria for what constitutes human spaceflight vary. The Fédération Aéronautique Internationale (FAI) Sporting Code for astronautics recognizes only flights that exceed an altitude of 100 kilometers (62 mi). are awarded astronaut wings.

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