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Who's an astronaut as private spaceflight picks up speed?

11 Comments
By MARCIA DUNN

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11 Comments
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If you go to space, you’re an astronaut,

No. Saying that is like saying "if you go up into the air on an airplane you are a pilot". Operating a spacecraft or aircraft and going along as a passenger are two different things IMHO.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

Agree with Desert T. If these folks are not operating the spacecraft then they are basically passengers. I'd hate to put that Zozoclown owner in the same category as Jonny Kim. Call 'em space pax.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

easy fix,

Astronaut Pilot

Astronaut Passenger

Astronaut Engineer etc

To be an astronaut of any kind you still go through a bunch of tests and some basic training so just add astronaut to the front of the name and make it like an honorific, then the conversation goes "I am an astronaut" "oh wow what kind" ,"oh a passenger", "oh i see that must have been a fun experience for you".

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Early on, the definition over here was that anyone who went above 50 miles altitude would be called an astronaut. It might be time to redefine the term, although I am OK with keeping the old definition. How cool would it be to be able to call yourself an astronaut?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

It is wonderful to live in an era where this have to be discussed. Maybe in the not so far future people will fight over who gets to get called a true "Martian".

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Bring an alien alive and show to the world, then i will respect the gut of an astronaut.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

A space tourist is not an astronaut. Rich people along for the ride with no duty other than to have fun. The whole flight being for the benefit and pleasure of the space tourist. No, they are not astronaut's by any definition of the word. As they have no function or input for the flight and time in space they are not crew so would be better described as cargo.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

They will become dead weight when something goes wrong.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

A space tourist is not an astronaut.

Other than by entirely fulfilling the definition of the word, you're correct:

astronaut [ as-truh-nawt, -not ]

noun

a person engaged in or trained for spaceflight.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

a person engaged in or trained for spaceflight.

A space tourist is not trained to carry out space flight only to be carried by such a flight. They are not engaged in carrying out the flight or trained to do so. Their training is the same as passengers on a ocean liner or plane. Please observe the emergency exits and move to the following positions, obey all crew instructions and hope for the best.

No, they do not fulfill the definition of the word astronaut at all.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

"Space persons" should be enough for the PC crowd.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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