List of astronauts by year of selection

This is a list of astronauts by year of selection: people selected to train for a human spaceflight program to command, pilot, or serve as a crew member of a spacecraft. Until recently, astronauts were sponsored and trained exclusively by governments, either by the military or by civilian space agencies. However, with the advent of suborbital flight starting with privately funded SpaceShipOne in 2004, a new category of astronaut was created: the commercial astronaut.

While the term astronaut is sometimes applied to anyone who trains for travels into space—including scientists, politicians, journalists, and tourists—this article lists only professional astronauts, those who have been selected to train as a profession. This includes national space programs and private industry programs which train and/or hire their own professional astronauts.

More than 500 people have trained as astronauts. A list of everyone who has flown in space can be found at List of space travelers by name.

1950s: 1958 1959
1960s: 1960 1962 1963 1964 1965 1966 1967 1968 1969
1970s: 1970 1971 1972 1973 1974 1976 1977 1978 1979
1980s: 1980 1982 1983 1984 1985 1986 1987 1988 1989
1990s: 1990 1992 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999
2000s: 2000 2003 2004 2006 2008 2009
2010s: 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2017 2018


North American X-15 Pilots Group (USA)

Fourteen pilots were directly involved with the X-15, although only twelve actually flew the vehicles. There was no formal selection process, since everyone chosen was already a qualified test pilot.
Scott Crossfield and Alvin White were the prime and backup North American Aviation test pilots who first became involved with the project. Air Force Captains Iven Kincheloe (prime pilot) and Robert White (backup) were assigned to the X-15 in 1957. When Kincheloe was killed in an accident through a different rocket aircraft program, White became prime pilot and Captain Robert Rushworth became his backup.The first NASA pilots were Joseph Walker and Neil Armstrong. Lieutenant Commander Forrest S. Petersen represented the Navy.
Walker and Armstrong were eventually replaced by NASA pilots John B. McKay (1960), Milton Thompson (1963) and William H. Dana (1965). White and Rushworth were succeeded by Captain Joe Engle (1963), Captain William Joseph Knight (1964) and Major Michael Adams (1966). The Navy selected Lieutenant Lloyd Hoover as Peterson's replacement, though he never trained or flew.[1]