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  NASA Astronaut Class (or Group) nicknames

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Author Topic:   NASA Astronaut Class (or Group) nicknames
Tom
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Posts: 1355
From: New York
Registered: Nov 2000

posted 07-29-2006 08:18 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Tom   Click Here to Email Tom     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I believe all, if not, most astronaut classes selected during the shuttle era had nicknames associated with them.

One in fact (chosen during Apollo in 1967) were called the "Excess Eleven".

I know the Class of 1996 were called the "Sardines". Anyone know what the other groups were called?

micropooz
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Posts: 1287
From: Washington, DC, USA
Registered: Apr 2003

posted 07-29-2006 09:14 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for micropooz   Click Here to Email micropooz     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The class of 1978 called themselves the TFNG. The official translation of TFNG was "Thirty Five New Guys". The colloquial translation was much more colorful...

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 29885
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 07-29-2006 09:34 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
  • Class 08: TFNG
  • Class 09: 19+80
  • Class 10: The Maggots
  • Class 11: ?
  • Class 12: The Gaffers
  • Class 13: The Hairballs
  • Class 14: The Hogs
  • Class 15: The Flying Escargot
  • Class 16: The Sardines
  • Class 17: The Penguins
  • Class 18: The Bugs
  • Class 19: The Peacocks

Hart Sastrowardoyo
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Posts: 2476
From: Toms River, NJ
Registered: Aug 2000

posted 07-29-2006 03:47 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Hart Sastrowardoyo   Click Here to Email Hart Sastrowardoyo     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Garrett Reisman of Group 17 said that Dodos was kicked around for a nickname because a dodo is a flightless bird and it would be a while before any of them flew. It was changed to Penguins, another flightless bird, the difference being that dodos are extinct...

KSCartist
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Posts: 2614
From: Titusville, FL USA
Registered: Feb 2005

posted 07-29-2006 07:59 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for KSCartist   Click Here to Email KSCartist     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
As you may know the previous class bestows the nickname on the new class. Class of 1996 (the Sardines - because they were the largest class since TFNG's) named the class of 1998 "the Dodos". Well the class of 98 got some revenge by changing their nickname to the Penguins. The difference, both are flightless birds but penguins eat fish.

I checked my scrapbook and the 11th class, (1985) didn't have a nickname listed. That was the class who lost Stephen Thorne in a plane accident. Maybe that's why.

Go4Launch
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Posts: 425
From: Bethesda, MD
Registered: Jul 2003

posted 11-24-2007 02:52 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Go4Launch   Click Here to Email Go4Launch     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Could someone please tell me what was the month in 1995 that Group 15 was named, and what the year and month were that Group 19 was named?

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 29885
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 11-24-2007 03:02 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Per Spacefacts.de, the shuttle classes were named on:
  • Group 8: January 16, 1978
  • Group 9: May 29, 1980
  • Group 10: May 23, 1984
  • Group 11: June 4, 1985
  • Group 12: June 5, 1987
  • Group 13: January 17, 1990
  • Group 14: March 31, 1992
  • Group 15: December 8, 1994
  • Group 16: May 1, 1996
  • Group 17: June 5, 1998
  • Group 18: July 26, 2000
  • Group 19: May 6, 2004

Tom
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Posts: 1355
From: New York
Registered: Nov 2000

posted 11-25-2007 08:49 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Tom   Click Here to Email Tom     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Just thought I'd add the year of the first flight from each group...
  • Group 8: January 16, 1978 ...1983
  • Group 9: May 29, 1980 ...1984
  • Group 10: May 23, 1984 ...1988
  • Group 11: June 4, 1985 ...1990
  • Group 12: June 5, 1987 ...1990
  • Group 13: January 17, 1990 ...1992
  • Group 14: March 31, 1992 ...1994
  • Group 15: December 8, 1994 ...1997
  • Group 16: May 1, 1996 ...1998
  • Group 17: June 5, 1998 ...2006
  • Group 18: July 26, 2000 ...2007
  • Group 19: May 6, 2004 ...(scheduled 2008)

Flying Dutchman
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Posts: 138
From: Nieuw Vennep
Registered: Jan 2007

posted 12-16-2007 10:31 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Flying Dutchman   Click Here to Email Flying Dutchman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Has anyone a complete list with all astronaut groups? Number 1 till 19 and with the dates? And does anyone has a list of people that became a candidate and later on where not selected or backed off for some kind of reason?

heng44
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Posts: 2704
From: Netherlands
Registered: Nov 2001

posted 12-16-2007 10:32 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for heng44   Click Here to Email heng44     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Most of this information can be found at SpaceFacts.

KSCartist
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Posts: 2614
From: Titusville, FL USA
Registered: Feb 2005

posted 03-20-2009 08:21 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for KSCartist   Click Here to Email KSCartist     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
We all know the names of the following selection groups:

1. The Original Seven
2. The New Nine
3. The "Original 14"
6. "The XS 11"

But what about these groups?

4. Scientist Astronauts
5. 19 Pilots
7. The seven MOL pilots

Were they known by any nickname or call themselves something special?

mjanovec
Member

Posts: 3631
From: Midwest, USA
Registered: Jul 2005

posted 03-20-2009 11:22 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for mjanovec   Click Here to Email mjanovec     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I don't recall "The Original 14" ever being used. I believe it was the fifth group, "The Original 19" who used that name as a joke.

webhamster
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Posts: 100
From: Ottawa, Canada
Registered: Jul 2008

posted 03-22-2009 08:33 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for webhamster     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by KSCartist:
But what about these groups?
I don't know if it's "official" but I've seen Group 3 referred to as "The Fourteen" and Group 4 as "The Scientists".

In fact that's the nomenclature that the Wikipedia list uses.

Tykeanaut
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Posts: 1839
From: Worcestershire, England, UK.
Registered: Apr 2008

posted 11-27-2013 01:09 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Tykeanaut   Click Here to Email Tykeanaut     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Did the class of '85 have a nickname? It's the only one I'm not aware of if they did?

Editor's note: Threads merged.

astro-nut
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Posts: 601
From: washington, Illinois USA
Registered: Jan 2006

posted 12-01-2013 10:41 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for astro-nut   Click Here to Email astro-nut     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The Astronaut Class of 1985 did not have a name. I have met some of the astronauts from that group/class and asked that question and none of them ever recall of a class name for their group/class.

brianjbradley
Member

Posts: 83
From: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Registered: Dec 2010

posted 06-30-2014 02:04 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for brianjbradley   Click Here to Email brianjbradley     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Dottie Metcalf Lindenburger's retirement got me thinking about her ASCAN Class Name - The Peacocks. Does anyone know the origin of the name?

I know it would have been chosen by someone from the Bugs 2000 class as per tradition to have the previous class give you your nickname. What is the significance of a peacock?

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 29885
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 06-30-2014 04:35 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Here's the way I've heard it...

When they were chosen, the 2004 astronaut candidates were told that they would not be flying on the space shuttle, but rather eventually preparing for whatever was to come next.

As such, they weren't expected to fly for some time to come, and so they were there (at least initially) more for show. Hence, they were nicknamed "The Peacocks," a bird known more for putting on a colorful show on the ground than for flying...

All times are CT (US)

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