How Many People Are in Space Right Now?
Last Updated: September 11, 2023
Space exploration has captivated the world’s imagination for decades, with countless individuals dreaming of one day venturing beyond Earth’s atmosphere. Today, that dream has become a reality for a select few.
So, how many people are in space right now? In this article, we’ll discover the names of the brave men and women currently living and working aboard the two space stations currently in orbit around the planet.
As of September 15, 2023 there are 10 people currently living and working in space.
Here's a quick rundown 👇
- 4 Astronauts
- 3 Cosmonauts
- 3 Taikonauts
By Country 🌍
- 2 Americans 🇺🇸
- 3 Russians 🇷🇺
- 3 Chinese 🇨🇳
- 1 Japanese 🇯🇵
- 1 Danish 🇩🇰
There are currently 7 people onboard the ISS
The crew of the ISS is usually made up of seven people from different countries, reflecting the collaborative and international nature of the space station. When a new crew arrives and departs, there may be a temporary overlap period during which the number of crew members exceeds the usual limit.
Sergey Prokopyev is a Russian cosmonaut who was selected by the Russian Federal Space Agency in 2010. He was a member of the Expedition 56/57 crew on board the International Space Station (ISS) in 2018. He has logged a total of 196 days in space. Prior to his career as a cosmonaut, Prokopyev served as a military pilot in the Russian Air Force.
Sergey joined the ISS via the Soyuz MS-22 spacecraft. He has been in space since September 2022.
Frank Rubio is a lieutenant colonel in the United States Army and a medical doctor who was selected by NASA as part of the 2017 Astronaut Candidate Class. Prior to his selection as an astronaut, Rubio served in various leadership roles in the Army, including as a flight surgeon and a special operations surgeon.
Frank joined the ISS via the Soyuz MS-22 spacecraft. He has been in space since September 2022.
Dmitriy Aleksandrovich Petelin is a Russian cosmonaut born in Kazakhstan in 1983. He graduated from South Ural State University in 2006 with a degree in aircraft and helicopter engineering, and later became an engineer for NIK, LLC. In 2012, he was selected as a cosmonaut and completed his training at the Yuri Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center, becoming a test cosmonaut in 2014.
Sergey joined the ISS via the Soyuz MS-22 spacecraft. He has been in space since September 2022.
Jasmin Moghbeli is an American NASA astronaut and U.S. Marine Corps test pilot with the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. Commissioned in the Marine Corps in 2005, she has flown over 2,000 hours and completed 150 combat missions, including deployments in Afghanistan.
Jasmin joined the ISS as part of the SpaceX Crew-7 mission. She has been in space since August 2023.
Selected by ESA in May 2009, Mogensen became a member of the European Astronaut Corps in 2010. He has participated in multiple training programs, including ESA’s CAVES and PANGAEA, and NASA’s NEEMO 19 undersea exploration mission. His first spaceflight was a ten-day mission aboard Soyuz TMA-18M to the International Space Station (ISS) in September 2015.
Andrea joined the ISS as part of the SpaceX Crew-7 mission. He has been in space since August 2023.
Furukawa worked in various medical departments before being selected by the National Space Development Agency of Japan (NASDA), now JAXA, in 1999 as an astronaut candidate for the International Space Station (ISS).
Furukawa’s first spaceflight was as a flight engineer on ISS Expedition 28/29, launching on June 7, 2011, and returning on November 22, 2011.
Satoshi joined the ISS as part of the SpaceX Crew-7 mission. He has been in space since August 2023.
Selected as a cosmonaut in 2018, Borisov passed the state exam in December 2020, qualifying him for spaceflight assignments. He has been assigned as a Flight Engineer on Expedition 69/70 for the SpaceX Crew-7 mission, where he is expected to stay for six months.
Konstantin joined the ISS as part of the SpaceX Crew-7 mission. He has been in space since August 2023.
Where is the ISS right now?
If you want to know where the ISS is right now, the map below allows you to see exactly where the ISS is currently located. The yellow line shows the ISS trajectory for the last 90 minutes (past) while the white line shows the ISS trajectory for the next 90 minutes (future). This map also displays the areas where it is daytime (white) and the areas where it is nighttime (black).
Map Source: www.esa.int By Iacopo Baroncini
ISS Video Feeds
This external camera called the High Definition Earth-Viewing System (HDEV) was operational from April 2014 until August 2019. This feed now continually streams past broadcast.
There are currently 3 people onboard the Tiangong Space Station
The Tiangong Space Station is an orbital laboratory operated by China. Tiangong means “heavenly palace” in Chinese, and the space station is intended to be a symbol of China’s rising technological and scientific prowess.
Jing Haipeng, born on October 24, 1966, is a prominent major general of the People’s Liberation Army Ground Force (PLAGF) who made history as the first Chinese astronaut to have completed four missions with the PLA Astronaut Corps (PLAAC) on Shenzhou 7, 9, 11, and 16.
Jing Haipeng joined the TSS as part of the Shenzhou 16 mission. He has been in space since May 30th, 2023.
Zhu Yangzhu, born in September 1986, is an accomplished Chinese engineer and astronaut who was selected for the Shenzhou program. Despite initial setbacks in his career, Zhu persisted in his passion for aeronautics, transitioning from a potential Air Force career to a pivotal role in space exploration, culminating in his selection as a crew member for the Shenzhou 16 mission launched in May 2023.
Zhu Yangzhu joined the TSS as part of the Shenzhou 16 mission. He has been in space since May 30th, 2023.
Gui Haichao, born in November 1986, is a Chinese researcher, professor, and astronaut recognized as the first civilian astronaut from China not enlisted in the People’s Liberation Army Astronaut Corps. With a significant academic career marked by his contribution to spacecraft dynamics and nonlinear control, Haichao made history by being selected as a payload specialist for the Shenzhou 16 mission.
Gui Haichao joined the TSS as part of the Shenzhou 16 mission. He has been in space since May 30th, 2023.
Where is the TSS right now?
If you want to know where the TSS is right now, the map below allows you to see exactly where the orbital station is currently located in the sky.
Frequently Asked Questions
Astronauts travel to space stations aboard spacecraft, such as Russia’s Soyuz spacecraft, SpaceX’s Crew Dragon, or China’s Shenzhou spacecraft. Once the spacecraft docks with the space station, the astronauts transfer from the spacecraft to the space station.
More information: How long does it take to reach the ISS?
The International Space Station (ISS) is approximately 357 feet (109 meters) end-to-end. The Chinese Tiangong Space Station (TSS) is expected to be slightly smaller, with a planned length of 189 feet (55 meters).
More information: How large is the ISS?
The ISS orbits around the planet at an altitude of approximately 408 km (253 miles) above the surface surface. In comparison, the TSS orbits at an altitude of approximately 375 km (233 miles) above the surface.
Yes, astronauts in space can communicate with their families through various means. They can use email, video conferencing, and even make phone calls using a special satellite phone. NASA also provides a service called the Crew Support System (CSS) which allows crew members to communicate with their loved ones.
More information: How do astronauts keep in touch with their families from space?
Generally speaking, Astronauts stay in space for around six months at a time, although some missions can last longer or shorter depending on the specific goals and needs of the mission. The length of stay is usually decided by the space agency responsible for the mission (NASA, ESA, JAXA, CSA, and more)
More information: How long do astronauts’ missions in space last?
Long-duration spaceflight can expose astronauts to a variety of risks, including radiation exposure, bone and muscle loss, changes in the cardiovascular system, and psychological stress. Additionally, long-term isolation and confinement can have a negative impact on mental health and wellbeing.
Astronauts typically return to Earth via a spacecraft that is specifically designed for re-entry into the Earth’s atmosphere. The spacecraft usually consists of a capsule that carries the crew and is equipped with a heat shield to protect it from the intense heat generated during re-entry. The spacecraft uses a parachute system to slow its descent and ensure a safe landing.
More information: The re-entry: How do astronauts get back to earth?
During their time in space, their bodies have adapted to the microgravity environment, and their muscles and bones have weakened due to lack of use. This can make it difficult for them to adjust to the stronger gravitational pull of Earth after their mission. It typically takes several days or even weeks for astronauts to fully readjust to Earth’s gravity and regain their normal physical abilities.
More information: 3 reasons why astronauts can’t walk after landing on earth
Russian cosmonaut Valeri Polyakov holds the record for the longest consecutive time an astronaut has spent in space during the same mission, with 437 days on board the Mir space station.
Meanwhile, the record for the most time spent in space over multiple missions belongs to another Russian cosmonaut, Gennady Padalka, who accumulated a total of 878 days in space throughout his career.
The requirements to become an astronaut are extremely rigorous. Does their salary match the difficulty of their profession?
Why do we use two different words for people doing essentially the same job?