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Is the word 'astronaut' obsolete?

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Waspie Dwarf: As someone born in the sixties I am old enough to remember men walking on the Moon... just. I remember Skylab and Salyut. I remember the Apollo-Soyuz Test Project and the handshake in space between astronaut and cosmonaut.

I remember that April day when a totally untried vehicle, the space shuttle Columbia, blasted off from Florida. I remember the combination of excitement and trepidation I felt as I watched the TV.

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Got to move with the times, on Earth we have many things which are now obsolete...........and 99.99999% because of science.

Even if "passengers" are thee thing of the future, you will still need an pilot, and technically he will still have "astronaut" on his cv.

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As it happened I was in Toronto the day of the moon landing, standing in front of their two modernistic city hall towers having Koolaid and cheese served by "moon maidens" in a delightful party atmosphere, watching the CBC broadcast on a huge screen. I don't think the Americans appreciated the importance of the event anything like the Canadians did.

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Even if "passengers" are thee thing of the future, you will still need an pilot, and technically he will still have "astronaut" on his cv.

You have entirely missed the point.

My point isn't that the pilot shouldn't be considered an astronaut, it is the fact that technically the passengers WILL be considered astronauts. I believe that the term astronaut should refer only to those who are professional space pilots or explorers, not for those who simply buy a ticket.

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You have entirely missed the point.

My point isn't that the pilot shouldn't be considered an astronaut, it is the fact that technically the passengers WILL be considered astronauts. I believe that the term astronaut should refer only to those who are professional space pilots or explorers, not for those who simply buy a ticket.

I take the point, but why would the passengers technically be considered astronauts? who says?

When passengers first started being taken on planes, they were not considered pilots.

A passenger is just that, I agree with you on that, but can not see how they could ever be classed as astronauts???

BUT, not all passengers should be looked down on just because they "simply buy a ticket", many will be explorers, the fact is many were not fit enough to become an astronaut does not take away their worthiness ...............they will always be PASSENGERS, and for the genuine "explorers" being a passenger is on a spaceflight is good enough. Anyone asking for a "title of astronaut" just for the sake of it should be left behind on the ground.

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I believe the term 'astronaut' should definitely be reserved for the chosen few who are/were true astronauts. To me it's not right that anyone else should be given that title just because they might be fortunate enough to be a commercial passenger on a trip to mars. They shouldn't be grouped together with the real genuine astronauts, that's just wrong, and it takes away the status (for want of a better word) and importance of what the 'real' astronauts have achieved and still are doing.

Great article Waspie :tu:

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Excellent article Waspie. Your love for space exploration and space flight shines through.

I agree being wealthy enough to tour space does not make you an astronaut. It makes you a space traveling tourist. That being said...I would love to be rich enough to be one of those lucky space travelers

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I take the point, but why would the passengers technically be considered astronauts?

Clearly you didn't take the point otherwise you wouldn't be asking this question.

They would be considered astronauts because they have travelled into space, That is what an astronaut is.

who says?

Everyone except you apparently. How about these for a start:

astronaut noun

a person who travels in a spacecraft into outer space

Source: Miriam-Webster

astronaut

noun

a person engaged in or trained for spaceflight.

Source: Dictionary.com

An astronaut (in the U.S.), cosmonaut (in Russia and many ex-Soviet satellite states) or taikonaut (in China) is a person trained by a human spaceflight program to command, pilot, or serve as a crew member of a spacecraft. While generally reserved for professional space travelers, the terms are sometimes applied to anyone who travels into space, including scientists, politicians, journalists, and tourists

(my emphasis).

Source: wikipedia

When passengers first started being taken on planes, they were not considered pilots.

Well they wouldn't be would they? Pilot has the following meaning:

pilot

noun

One who operates or is licensed to operate an aircraft in flight.

Source: Dictionary.com

As the word pilot, in aeronautical terms, is specific to the people that fly the aircraft it excludes the passengers. As I have shown above the word astronaut DOES NOT exclude the passengers (which was the point of the article which you did not grasp).

A passenger is just that, I agree with you on that, but can not see how they could ever be classed as astronauts???

That is because you clearly did not understand the definition of the word "astronaut". Now it has been explained to you maybe you will be able to grasp the point of my article.

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A commercial astronaut is a person trained to command, pilot, or serve as a crew member of a privately funded spacecraft. This is distinct from an otherwise non-government astronaut (such as Charlie Walker) who fly while representing a non-government corporation but with funding and/or training coming from government sources.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Commercial_astronaut

This is a list of astronauts by year of selection, people selected for training for a human spaceflight program to command, pilot, or serve as a crew member of a spacecraft. Until recently, astronauts were sponsored and trained exclusively by governments, either by the military or by civilian space agencies. However, with the first sub-orbital flight of the privately funded SpaceShipOne in 2004, a new category of astronaut was created – the commercial astronaut.

While the term astronaut is sometimes applied to anyone who travels into space, including scientists, politicians, journalists, and tourists, this article only lists professional astronauts. A list of everyone who has flown in space can be found at List of space travelers by name.

As of 2008, more than 480 people had trained as astronauts.

Still has to be trained.

The future passenger is NOT trained to pilot the craft, serve as a crew member or command.

The passenger of the future is EXACTLY that, a passenger. NOT an astronaut.

Ok, let me ask a question, seriously, do you think that in the future the "paying passengers" will all go through the training now required to go into space? according to Virgin galactic, you can book now to become an "astronaut" but it does not state any training, only a pretty eye watering deposit to get started, but if we actually look at the correct terms for an astronaut, it is INCORRECT to call them that:

http://www.nasa.gov/audience/forstudents/postsecondary/features/F_Astronaut_Requirements.html

http://www.typingtest.com/testfiles/undefined

http://www.kidcyber.com.au/topics/astrocosmo.htm

If on the other hand the "passengers" of the future DO go through the training required, then they have a right to be called 'commercial astronauts', but I doubt that this will actually be the case.

=======================================

How to become an astronaut:

Coleman was selected by NASA in March 1992 to become an astronaut. Her adventure really began in earnest then, and her knowledge area expanded as she attended astronaut "basic training."

"I needed to learn safety procedures, how the space shuttle works, how the space station operates, software information and what to do if things go wrong," Coleman says. "Basically, I needed to learn how to be a space shuttle operator."

http://spaceflight.nasa.gov/outreach/jobsinfo/astronaut101.html

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