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Astronaut Birthdays for July

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July 24th


Boris Belousov (1930) USSR

Selected 1965

Retired 1968, apparently because he could not meet the weight restrictions; no flights

Died 27 June 1998



Anatoli Dedkov (1944) USSR

Selected 1970

Retired 1983; no flights

Died 17 September 2016




Information from Spacefacts website

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July 25th


Paul Weitz (1932) USA

Selected 1966 (NASA Group 5)

Skylab 2 (Expedition 1), 25 May - 22 June 1973 (28d 0h 50m)

STS-6, 4 - 9 April 1983 (5d 0h 23m) - First flight of Challenger. Deployed TDRS-A comsat

Total flight time 33d 1h 13m

Retired March 1988

Died 23 October 2017




Daniel Bursch (1957) USA

Selected 1990 (NASA Group 13)

STS-51, 12 - 22 September 1993 (9d 20h 11m) - Deployed ACTS comsat; also carried ORFEUS astrophysics package

STS-68, 30 September - 11 October 1994 (11d 5h 46m) - Carried Space Radar Laboratory SRL-2

STS-77, 19 - 29 May 1996 (10d 0h 39m) - Deployed and retrieved free-flying SPARTAN experiment pallet

STS-108/ISS Expedition 4, 5 December 2001 - 19 June 2002 (195d 19h 38m) - Landed aboard STS-111

Total flight time 226d 22h 14m

Retired June 2005




Information from Spacefacts website

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July 26th


Rimantus Stankevičius (1944) USSR

Selected 1977

Trained to fly the Buran Shuttle; assigned as co-pilot on the first manned flight

Killed 9 September 1990 in crash at an Italian air show



William Shepherd (1949) USA

Selected 1984 (NASA Group 10)

STS-27, 2 - 7 December 1988 (4d 9h 5m) - Classified DoD mission; deployed the Lacrosse surveillance satellite for the National Reconnaissance Office and the CIA

STS-41, 6 - 10 October 1990 (4d 2h 10m) - Deployed the Ulysses Solar Polar probe

STS-52, 22 October - 1 November 1992 (9d 20h 56m) - Deployed the LAGEOS II laser ranging satellite; also carried US Microgravity Payload (USMP-1)

Soyuz TM-31/ISS Expedition 1, 31 October 2000 - 21 March 2001 (140d 23h 38m) - Landed aboard STS-102

Total flight time 159d 7h 49m

Retired August 2002


The launch of Soyuz TM-31 began a human presence in orbit that has continued uninterrupted to this day - as at 26 July this stands at 6,477 days (and counting)



William McArthur (1951) USA

Selected 1990 (NASA Group 13)

STS-58, 18 October - 1 November 1993 (14d 0h 12m) - Carried Spacelab Life Sciences SLS-2

STS-74, 12 - 20 November 1995 (8d 4h 30m) - Second Shuttle-Mir docking; delivered the Russian-built Docking Module

STS-92, 11 - 24 October 2000 (12d 21h 52m) - Delivered the Z1 truss and the Pressurized Mating Adaptor to the ISS ready for the first occupants 

Soyuz TMA-7/ISS Expedition 12, 1 October 2005 - 8 April 2006 (189d 19h 52m)

Total flight time 224d 22h 16m

Retired January 2012



Neil Woodward (1962) USA

Selected 1998 (NASA Group 17)

Retired July 2008; no flights




Information from Spacefacts website

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July 27th


Sheikh Muszaphar Shukor Al Masrie bin Sheikh Mustapha (1972) Malaysia

Selected 2006

Soyuz TMA-11/ISS Visiting Flight 9, 10 - 21 October 2007 (10d 21h 13m) - Landed aboard Soyuz TMA-10

Retired October 2007


The name Sheikh Mustapha is a patronymic; his family name is Shukor Al Masrie, shortened to Shukor on the mission patch

Flight was part of a deal where Malaysia purchased eighteen Sukhou Su-30MKM fighters from Russia

The last part of the mission took place during Ramadan, and a special guidebook for Muslim astronauts was created, titled Guidelines for Performing Islamic Rites (Ibadah) at the International Space Station, detailing issues such as how to pray in a low-gravity environment, how to locate Mecca from the ISS, how to determine prayer times, and issues surrounding fasting (given that the ISS orbit results in one day/night cycle every ninety minutes).



Aydyn Aimbetov (1972) Kazakhstan

Selected 2002

Soyuz TMA-18M/ISS Visiting Flight 14, 2 - 12 September 2015 (9d 20h 14m) - Landed aboard Soyuz TMA-16M

Still on active status


Aimbetov's place on TMA-18M was originally assigned to the singer Sarah Brightman as a Spaceflight Participant but she dropped out for undisclosed reasons 




Information from Spacefacts website and Wikipedia

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July 28th


Aleksei Borodai (1947) USSR

Selected 1979

Flew six in-atmosphere tests with the jet-powered Buran Analogue

Assigned to a Soyuz-TM mission to Mir to give him flight experience before piloting Buran but programme was cancelled

Retired December 1993; no flights

Lost both legs on 8 October 1996 in crash-landing of AN-124



Scott Parazynski (1961) USA

Selected 1992 (NASA Group 14)

STS-66, 3 - 14 November 1994 (10d 22h 34m) - Carried ATLAS-3 solar observatory

STS-86, 26 September - 6 October 1997 (10d 19h 20m) - Seventh Shuttle-Mir Mission; crew exchange (Wolf up; Foale down)

STS-95, 29 October - 7 November 1998 (8d 21h 44m) - Deployed and retrieved SPARTAN free-flyer, also SPACEHAB module; crew included John Glenn

STS-100, 19 April - 1 May 2001 (11d 21h 30m) - Delivered Canadarm manipulator and other equipment and supplies to the ISS

STS-120, 23 October - 7 November 2007 (15d 2h 23m) - Delivered Harmony Node 2 and other equipment and supplies to the ISS

Total flight time 57d 15h 31m

Retired March 2009



Robert Behnken (1970) USA

Selected 2000 (NASA Group 18)

STS-123, 11 - 27 March 2008 (15d 18h 11m) - Delivered Japanese module Kibo plus other equipment and supplies to the ISS

STS-130, 8 - 22 February 2010 (13d 18h 6m) - Delivered Node 3 Tranquility module and the Cupola observation dome to the ISS

Still on active status; total flight time to date 29d 12h 17m




Information from Spacefacts website and Encyclopedia Astronautica

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July 29th


No astronaut birthdays today

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July 30th


Aleksandr Balandin (1953) USSR

Selected 1978

Soyuz TM-9/Mir Expedition 6, 11 February - 9 August 1990 (179d 1h 17m)

Retired October 1994



Gregory C. Johnson (1954) USA

Selected 1998 (NASA Group 17)

STS-125, 11 - 24 May 2009 (12d 21h 37m) - Fifth and last Hubble Servicing Mission

Retiral date unknown


Though STS-125 was the fifth Hubble mission it was officially designated HST-SM-04 because the third mission was split into two parts, known as 3A and 3B. Apparently NASA had learned nothing from the confusion caused by the Skylab flight numbering!


Johnson is not to be confused with astronaut Gregory H. Johnson




Information from Spacefacts website

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July 31st


Pratiwi Sudarmono (1952) Indonesia

Selected 1985

Assigned to STS-61H but mission cancelled following the Challenger accident

Retired January 1986; no flights



Information from Spacefacts website

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