An astronaut or cosmonaut is a person who goes into outer space. Countries friendly to the Soviet Union always said cosmonaut, countries friendly to the United States said astronaut.
Astronauts are also called "taikonauts" in China or "spationaute" in France.
The first person to go into space was a Russian from the old Soviet Union, Yuri Gagarin. This happened on April 12, 1961.
The first and second persons to walk on the Moon were the Americans Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin. This happened on July 20, 1969.
No astronauts have gone to the moon since 1972. No people have visited any other planets yet.
Astronauts still go into space on the Space Shuttle and the Soyuz spacecraft. Several countries have worked together to build an International Space Station so people can stay and work in space for long periods of time.

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