Sounds like blue origin and virgin customers won’t be considered astronauts by the US government

Read the Story

Show Top Comments

Well. We don’t call all the passengers on a plane pilots now do we? So it makes sense

Nashocheese

Calling these paying passengers “astronauts” diminishes the achievements of real astronauts who spend years and years training for their missions.

Zarnywoop

Paid a wage? Astronaut. Pay to fly? Passenger.

der_innkeeper

It’s ridiculous how worked up people are getting over this.. Guess what? Bezos/Musk/their passengers don’t care.

rafferty85

The term “astronaut” is compounded from two Greek elements: ***astro-*** meaning “star,” and ***nautes*** meaning “sailor”–and a sailor isn’t just someone who’s been on a ship. That’s why, when I hear someone called an astronaut, I assume that they are someone trained to pilot or otherwise operate a space vessel. Even if they haven’t flown yet, that training and their commitment to serve qualifies them as an astronaut, just as a Navy seaman is already called a sailor before they ever sail. I’ve served in the U.S. Navy, piloted and crewed on sailboats, and taken my wife on a Caribbean cruise. Two of those qualified me to be a *sailor*, and the other qualified me to be a *passenger*. I don’t see how this is any different. Give them wings if you want, just like they used to give little kids on airline flights. It didn’t make them pilots, and it doesn’t make these people astronauts. Come on, folks, you got to fly to the *edge of space* on a damned *rocket*. Isn’t that enough, without making us all pretend you got *knighted* for it?

Smyrnaean