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(1) COSMONAUTS

These two albums contain autograph examples of all the cosmonauts who have flown in space on Soviet or Russian spacecraft, plus the six Chinese Taikonauts. As of 2012, that includes autograph examples of over 150 different cosmonauts and taikonauts: from Russian Yuri Gagarin in 1961 to Russian cosmonauts A. A. Shkaplerov and A. Ivansihin in 2012. I say autograph "examples" because I didn't intend this to be used as a cosmonaut autograph authenticating site, but only as a reference and a handy place to see "examples" of the various cosmonaut autographs. My expertise is not cosmonaut autographs and I make no claim that all the cosmonaut autographs found here are genuine, although I am not presenting any that I have any real doubts about - with the exception of the Dobrovolsky and Patsayev signature examples taken from Superior and Aurora auction catalogs.

Who qualifies as a cosmonaut? Anyone who has flown on a Soviet or Russian spaceflight? For years that served as an accurate definition of a cosmonaut, but with American NASA Astronauts flying on Russian spacecraft, and some, such as Shannon Walker, who made her only spaceflight totally on Russian spacecraft, it clouds the issue a little. It would probably be acceptable to call any private American citizen who flies on Russian spacecraft a cosmonaut, such as Dennis Tito and Greg Olsen, who paid for and flew only on Russian Soyuz spacecraft. But would a trained American NASA Astronaut, such as John Phillips, who has flown on both NASA and Russian spacecraft, be referred to as both an astronaut and cosmonaut? Because of this issue, I have included autographs of American astronaut Shannon Walker in both my flown astronaut section and cosmonaut section, but Americans who have flown on both Russian and American spacecraft, such as Phillips, in only the flown astronaut section.