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.[1][2]

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

Guion Bluford November 22, 1942 United States First African-American astronaut in space. STS-8 (August 30, 1983) STS-61-A (October 30, 1985) STS-39 (April 28, 1991) STS-53 (December 2, 1992)

Ronald McNair October 21, 1950 January 28, 1986 United States Died on the Challenger STS-41-B (February 3, 1984) STS-51-L (January 28, 1986)