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Friday, August 4, 2006

Puzzle: Civilians in Space

The first part of today's puzzle should be easy for space buffs, but may surprise those whose space information comes from the often uninformed prattle of the legacy media. The question is:
Who was the first civilian to fly in space?
To avoid argumentative nitpicking, let's agree that “civilian” means a person who was not a member of an armed service at the time of their flight—a prior military career does not count. NASA astronauts who were military officers were “on assignment” to NASA, but remained military personnel unless they explicitly resigned their commissions and became NASA civilian employees. Further, let us take “fly in space” according to the definition of spaceflight by the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale (FAI): a flight to an altitude of more than 100 kilometres.

Posted at August 4, 2006 20:47