Difference Between Astronaut and Cosmonaut (With Table)

While learning or talking about the universe the major term that hit our head is an astronaut. People sometimes resemble astronauts with cosmonauts but this is not true. These two terms are used for people trained by different agencies. Astronaut is trained by American space-related agencies while cosmonaut is trained by Russian agencies.

Astronaut vs Cosmonaut

The main difference between astronaut and cosmonaut is that astronaut is used for those individuals who explore the space and universe and mainly from countries like Canada, Europe, and the United States. These people are trained by American-based space agencies including NASA, CSA, etc. On the contrary, cosmonaut term is used for those space invaders that are trained by the Russian-based space agency.

An astronaut is the individual or the person that explore space or travel in the spacecraft. Before heading towards the spacecraft, the astronauts have to undergo strict training in which they learned how to survive effectively in space. Various tests are done to make sure that the person must be physically fit to explore outer space.

Cosmonaut is derived from the Greek word that means ‘Universe Sailor’. This term is specifically used for the Russian individuals who explore the space and are trained by the Russian-based space agencies. Russia has a long history related to the space lift.

Comparison Table Between Astronaut and Cosmonaut

Parameters of ComparisonAstronautCosmonaut
MeaningAstronaut derived from the Greek word ‘astro nautes’ that simply means star sailorCosmonaut derived from two Greek words ‘kosmos’ and ‘nautes’ which means universe sailor
EligibilityMust have a master degree in any of the Stem fields. Must have professional experience of a minimum of two years or jet aircraft pilot experience for minimum of 1,000 hours. The individual should pass or qualify for the astronaut physical test of NASA.Must be a citizen of Russia and would be able to speak English and Russian fluently. The age of the person should not be more than 35 years. He or she should not suffer from any serious health condition and should possess relevant experience of at least five years.
OriginIt includes individuals from Canada, Europe, Japan, and the United StatesIt includes individuals from Russia only
TrainingAstronauts are trained by America based space agenciesCosmonauts are trained by Russia based space agencies
Are they Same?Astronauts are considered as cosmonaut when they leave the Earth’s atmosphereCosmonaut never called Astronaut

What is Astronaut?

Astronaut is derived from the Greek word ‘astro nautes’ that simply means star sailor. This term is used for those individuals who sail or explore space. Astronauts use spacecraft to travel to outer space. In the spacecraft, there would be a team of few people that have different responsibilities ranging from commander to pilot. All of these people are trained strictly and various tests are been made to check their eligibility.

Astronauts are those individuals that are trained by the space agencies of the United States. These individuals possess tremendous communication and leadership skills. To become an astronaut one should consider the requirement or the eligibility aspect described below.

  1. The individual must have a master degree in any of the stem fields that can be physical science, engineering, biological science, or other relevant degrees.
  2. Must have professional experience of a minimum of two years or jet aircraft pilot experience for minimum of 1,000 hours
  3. The individual should pass or qualify for the astronaut physical test of NASA.

What is Cosmonaut?

Cosmonaut is derived from two Greek words ‘kosmos’ and ‘nautes’ which means universe sailor. Any individual who visits or explores the space and is trained by Russian based space agency is called a cosmonaut. The Russian space agency had a golden history in making records based on spaceflight.

To become a cosmonaut the individual must be a citizen of Russia and would be able to speak English and Russian fluently. The age of the person should not be more than 35 years. He or she should not suffer from any serious health condition and should possess relevant experience of at least five years.

Main Differences Between Astronaut and Cosmonaut

  1. Astronauts and cosmonauts are used for those individuals who explore space. Astronaut derived from the Greek word ‘astro nautes’ that simply means star sailor. While Cosmonaut derived from two Greek words ‘kosmos’ and ‘nautes’ which means universe sailor.
  2. Astronauts and cosmonauts are trained by different agencies and hence they have different eligibility criteria. To become an astronaut the person must have master degree in any of the Stem field. Must have professional experience of a minimum of two years or jet aircraft pilot experience for minimum of 1,000 hours. The individual should pass or qualify for the astronaut physical test of NASA. On the contrary, for cosmonaut the individual must be a citizen of Russia and would be able to speak English and Russian fluently. The age of the person should not be more than 35 years. He or she should not suffer from any serious health condition and should possess relevant experience of at least five years.
  3. Astronauts and cosmonauts are people that belong to different parts of the world and have common interest in researching about the universe and space. Astronaut include individuals from Canada, Europe, Japan, and the United States. On the contrary, Cosmonauts include individuals from Russia only.
  4. Astronauts are trained by America based space agencies while Cosmonauts on the other side are trained by Russia based space agencies.
  5. Astronauts and cosmonauts have various similarities but they are different as well in several criteria. Astronauts are gradually considered as cosmonaut when they leaves the Earth’s atmosphere but it is not applicable on cosmonaut.

Conclusion

Astronaut and cosmonaut are quite similar terms related to the individuals that explore space. But these two terms have some differences as well. Astronaut is used for individuals that are specifically a part of American space agencies while cosmonaut is Russian individuals who explore space.

References

  1. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/0094576594900450
  2. https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-019-44858-0

About the Editorial Staff

Editorial Staff at Ask Any Difference is a team of experts in the field of "Difference Between" topics and led by Sandeep Bhandari, Piyush Yadav and Chara Yadav. Trusted by over 1.5 million readers worldwide
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