"space-traveler," 1929 in scientific speculation, popularized from 1961 by U.S. space program, from astro- "star" + nautes "sailor," from PIE root *nau- "boat." French astronautique (adj.) had been coined 1927 by "J.H. Rosny," pen name of Belgian-born science fiction writer Joseph Henri Honoré Boex, on model of aéronautique, and Astronaut was used in 1880 as the name of a fictional spaceship by English writer Percy Greg in "Across the Zodiac."
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