We have already seen the ten youngest astronauts to have gone into space and now its time for the grey flyers, the OAPS, the space grampas! OK, so many of them are not that old, but they ages are still pretty impressive. Whoever said being an astronaut is a young man’s game obviously didn’t tell these people…
The Ten Oldest Astronauts to Have Gone Into Space
10 – Claude Nicollier from Switzerland – Age at space flight: 55
Claude Nicollier is the first astronaut from Switzerland. He has flown on four Space Shuttle missions. His first spaceflight was in 1992, and his final spaceflight was in 1999. He took part in two servicing missions to the Hubble Space Telescope.
9 – William E. Thornton from USA – Age at space flight: 56
As chief engineer of the electronics division of the Del Mar Engineering Labs at Los Angeles from 1956 to 1959, he also organized and directed its Avionics Division. He returned to the University of North Carolina Medical School in 1959, graduated in 1963, and completed internship training in 1964 at the Wilford Hall USAF Hospital at Lackland Air Force Base, San Antonio, Texas.
8 – Roger K. Crouch from USA – Age at space flight: 58
Roger Keith Crouch is an American scientist and astronaut who flew as a payload specialist on two NASA Space Shuttle missions in 1997.
7 – Karl Gordon Henize from USA – Age at space flight: 58
Karl Gordon Henize, Ph.D. was an American astronomer, space scientist, NASA astronaut, and professor at Northwestern University.
6 – Valery Ryumin from Russia – Age at space flight: 58
In 1973, he joined the RSC Energia cosmonaut corps. A veteran of three space flights, Ryumin has logged a total of 362 days in space. In 1977, he spent 2 days aboard Soyuz-25, in 1979, he spent 175 days aboard Soyuz vehicles and the Salyut-6 space station, and in 1980, he spent 185 days aboard Soyuz vehicles and the Salyut-6 space station.
5 – Jean-Loup Chrétien from France – Age at space flight: 59
Jean-Loup Jacques Marie Chrétien is a French retired Général de Brigade in the Armée de l’Air, and a former CNES spationaut. He flew on two Franco-Soviet space missions and a NASA Space Shuttle mission.
4 – Vance D. Brand from USA – Age at space flight: 59
Vance DeVoe Brand is an American former naval officer and aviator, aeronautical engineer, test pilot, and NASA astronaut.
3 – Dennis Tito from USA – Age at space flight: 60
Dennis Anthony Tito is an American engineer and multimillionaire, most widely known as the first space tourist to fund his own trip into space.
2 – Story Musgrave from USA – Age at space flight: 61
Franklin Story Musgrave, M.D. is an American physician and a retired NASA astronaut. He is a public speaker and consultant to both Disney’s Imagineering group and Applied Minds in California.
1 – John Glenn from USA – Age at space flight: 77
Colonel John Herschel Glenn Jr. was a United States Marine Corps aviator, engineer, astronaut, and United States Senator from Ohio. In 1962, he became the first American to orbit the Earth, circling it three times.