At one point the space program was a well respected and the astronauts were well regarded. The space program in the United States is not as popular as it used to be but people still have a lot of respect for the astronauts that go into space and want to learn more about what is beyond Earth. These astronauts really known their stuff and has done a lot to improve the space program. These are the top 10 best experienced astronauts from the United States that have made a difference in the space program.
List of Top 10 Most Experienced US Astronauts Ever until in 2017
10. John Glenn
He is the first astronaut from the United States to go into space and orbit the Earth. He was on the Friendship 7 in 1962. At the age of 77 he became the oldest human to fly into space. This happened on the Discovery space ship in 1998. Glenn had a great career in space and also has success as a senator for a number of years.
8. Neil Armstrong
Armstrong has to be one of the most famous astronauts in the world. He was the first man to step on the moon and was able to make there and back successfully. His knowledge helped the space program really take off and put the United States ahead of the Russians in the space race. Neil will be one of most famous men and astronauts of all time.
7. Alan B Sheppard
Alan was the second man is space and was the only American on the Mercury mission in 1961. He returned to space a couple of years later as the leader on the Apollo 14. He was on the third mission to the moon from the United States. He has been to space a number of times and his experienced helped the space program in the United States.
6. Buzz Aldrin
Buazz was the pilot of the Apollo 11 space mission. He was with Armstrong when he landed on the moon. Buzz was the second man to step foot on the surface of the moon. He was not done with his space adventures yet. He went on to be the pilot of the Gemini 12 mission.
5. Sally Ride
Sally was the first women to be part of the space program. She was a member of the program when she first went into space in 1983. She went back into space in 1984 as part of the crew on the next spaceship. She went on to hold administrative position as well. She was a board member that had to investigate both the Challenger and the Columbia space shuttle tragedies.
4. Jerry L Ross
Ross was a mechanical engineer and was a member of the Air Force. During this time he learned how to play 21 different types of planes an aircrafts. He went on to be a pilot in over seven different flights into space. This is a second in the world of space travel. He had nine spacewalks and has been on a number of secret space projects. He is one amongst the Top 10 Most Experienced US Astronauts Ever until 2017.
3. Jim Lovell
Jim was part of the Apollo 13 crew and made it back to Earth alive. This did not stop his interest in the space program. Before the failed mission he was on the Gemini project and spent more time in space than any other person in this field. He flew four different missions to the moon. He was the only person to fly to the moon twice without landing on it. He is one of only 24 people to travel to the moon. While has years of experience in the space program and has worked on a number of mission it seems he will forever be associated with the Apollo 13 mission and their miracle landing back on Earth.
2. Gordon Cooper
Gordon was on the Mercury Seven mission and was part of the first American space crew. He was captain of the Faith 7 and when a disaster hit he was able to get the spaceship back to Earth at just the right angle saving all the members on board. While he did not return to orbit he remained on the space program for a number of years. If he did not angle the reentry just right everyone on board would have been dead.
1. Mae Jemison
She was the first African American women to travel into space in 1992. She was a member of the Endeavor crew. In addition to her time in space she has earned nine honorary degrees for her work in the space program as well as the medical field. Her worked in and out of space helped the program run strong through the early 1990s and help find out a lot of information about the world of space. This was one very intelligent woman.
These are some of the Top 10 Most Experienced US Astronauts Ever until 2017. They are known for their adventures into space but many have also worked behind the scenes researching the space program and life beyond Earth. All of these people have made great contributions to the space program and will be known for their work and professionalism.