According to Popular Mechanics (emphasis added):

More people have been to space than have flown in a B-2.

... A B-2 pilot at Whiteman [Air Force Base] told me that the number of astronauts who've been to space is larger than the number of people who have flown in a B-2. I look it up and find it's true: As of that moment, 552 people had traveled into space. Only 543 people have ever flown in the cockpit of a B-2. Upon landing I'll become number 544, with the new Air Force handle "Spirit 544."

Have more people "been to space than have flown in a B-2"? Verify this as of the time of the article's publishing. @DenisS correctly points out this is over 6 years ago (January 7, 2013).

Bonus (250 rep): How many people have flown in a B-2 as of January 1, 2019? If this is too recent, any supported value after the date of January 1, 2014 will also get awarded the bonus.

I am asking this question because I cannot find another source with the number of people who have ever flown in the cockpit of a B-2 at any time, so it would be interesting that this one source has such an exact number (544).

Note: I have tried asking a similar question on Aviation.SE.

  • 1
    How could I improve this question? Apr 24, 2019 at 8:01
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    The exact number is probably impossible to come by. But i don't doubt on the order of magnitude. It sounds reasonable. Wikipedia says 20 aircraft in active inventory, 21 ever built. A crew of two. Say there are 3 crews per aircraft (arbitrary guess) and certainly some turnover since its introduction (1997). Add several more for flight testing and engineers during design. But that would be about it. 544 already sounds pretty large to me actually.
    – Scrontch
    Apr 24, 2019 at 12:28
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    Note that the article is from 6 years ago. It's possible the number has flip flopped since then.
    – DenisS
    Apr 24, 2019 at 13:11
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    @downvoters Would any of you suggest improvements for the question? It would improve the community. Apr 25, 2019 at 3:40
  • 4
    @pipe I will neither be defending my word usage in that particular comment, nor altering it. Whether StackExchange was originally envisioned to NOT be about community is irrelevant. Feel free to provide constructive feedback that can improve the question. Thanks! Apr 25, 2019 at 21:14


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