Socio-Professional Characteristics of Russian and Foreign Cosmonauts/Astronauts

Socio-Professional Characteristics of Russian and Foreign Cosmonauts/Astronauts

Khodykin A.V

Cand. Sci. (Sociol.), Sociologist of the Social Research Institute, Samara, Russia.

ID of the Article:

Rubric: First steps

For citation:

Khodykin A.V Socio-Professional Characteristics of Russian and Foreign Cosmonauts/Astronauts. Sotsiologicheskie issledovaniya [Sociological Studies]. 2020. No 6. P. 122-132


The paper offers results of a comparative analysis of the socio-professional characteristics of Russian and foreign cosmonauts/astronauts. The analysis is based on data from the website of the research Institute “Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center”, as well as other open sources, both Russian and non-Russian. Comparative analysis of such socio-professional characteristics of cosmonauts as certified specialties, scientific productivity, average number of flights, types of additional activities, areas in which cosmonauts continue their job after completion. The author also analyzes careers of cosmonauts/ astronauts, their family ties, their attitude to military service and military ranks. Accordingly, following main conclusions were obtained: for most indicators, Russian cosmonauts with space flight experience do not differ much from their foreign colleagues; astronauts fly into space more often than cosmonauts; after completing their careers, foreign astronauts are more often engaged in business, while Russian cosmonauts often occupy senior positions and go into politics; proportion of civilians among astronauts is much higher than among Russian cosmonauts. The predominance of pilots and engineers among Russians is much higher than among their foreign counterparts, while range of specialties that astronauts feature is wider

cosmonauts; astronauts; biographies; comparative analysis; socioprofessional characteristics


Bogdashevsky R.B., Solovyova I.B. (2012) Questions of Personality Development of a Professional Cosmonaut. Pilotiruemye polety v kosmos [Manned Spaceflight]. No. 3(5): 100–112. (In Russ.)

Ivanova L.V. (2011) Professional Society of Astronauts as a Social Institution. Sotsiologiya vlasti [Sociology of Power]. No. 6: 143–149. (In Russ.)

Ivanova L.V. (2012) Institutionalization of the Cosmonaut Community. Extended Abstract of Cand. Sci. (Sociol.) Dissertation: 22.00.04. Moscow. (In Russ.)

Ivanova L.V. (2013) Model, Structure, Pecularities and Development Prospects of Cosmonaut Community. Pilotiruemye polety v kosmos [Manned Spaceflight]. No. 1(6): 88–92. (In Russ.)

Krichevsky S.V., Ivanova L.V. (2011) Community of Cosmonauts: Structure, Features, Prospects. Sotsiologiya vlasti [Sociology of Power]. No. 8: 145–153. (In Russ.)

Vakoch D.A. (2013) On Orbit and Beyond: Psychological Perspectives on Human Spaceflight. Berlin: Springer-Verlag.

Zakharova S.E., Ukolova L.E. (2017) Communicative Promotion of the International Image of the Russian Cosmonautics. In: Communication in Politics, Business and Education: Conference Proceedings. Moscow: Moskovsk. un-t: 241–244. (In Russ.)

Content No 6, 2020