Who had more courage?
The first explorers and the first astronauts both needed to have a lot of courage. The explorers came from different countries in Europe during the time frame of 1500 to 1600. The first astronauts of the U.S.A. were called the Mercury 7. They started their long journey to space in the 1950's. The Astronauts needed more courage for these reasons.
Columbus explored in 1972. He left Spain to lead an expedition funded by King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella. He brought back things from the New World like animals, plants, Indian slaves and food. Although he brought back a lot of slaves, they proved to not be very effective because they weren't used to the diseases and sicknesses that the Europeans had so they quickly died.
Ponce de Leon
Ponce de Leon traveled to the New Land with Columbus. He quickly became rich because he found loads of gold. In 1513; he made another voyage and landed on a sunny peninsula in modern day North America. About eight years later, he returned to the land with plans to colonize. His plans failed, the Indians rebelled and drove of the Spaniards with poisoned arrows.
Francisco Vasquez de Coronado
Francisco Vasquez de Coronado made his voyage in 1540. They left Mexico with a goal of finding the legendary golden cities. He traveled more than 7,000 miles which led them to an American Indian tribe called the Pueblos. He was not happy about the failure to find the golden cities but decided to go North to continue his search. He never found the cities.
Pizarro was a Spanish conquistador that led a small group who conquered an entire empire. His group had a little bit of help though, a disease called smallpox that has swept through Europe made it's way to the New World. Many of the Incas had been wiped out from that but they still had huge numbers of people. Francisco needed lots of courage but he still planned a sneak attack on the Incas. They killed tons of Incas then captured their leader and the rest of the Incas surrendered.
The first astronauts we called the Mercury 7; they came from the U.S. military. They were selected to be the first astronauts in the 1950's. They had to undergo many different physical and mental tests. The training was tough, and it took a lot of courage to get through. They also were at all of the test flights; many of which blew up which was probably very scary for the astronauts. Unfortunately, on the test flight the rocket lit on fire and some of the passengers died.
Although the explorers had to go to unknown lands, they didn't need as much courage as the astronauts. The astronauts were going into space where there wasn't any oxygen. There also was completely unknown conditions and they had witnessed the test rockets blow up many times. That is why the Mercury 7 needed more courage than the explorers.