State of the Game

I suppose you think the little kids on airline flights that get to go up to see the cockpit and get little plastic wings are pilots too.

Going up on Bezos' giant thruster willy doesn't make someone an astronaut, it makes them extremely rich and privileged idiots who paid money to experience weightlessness for a few seconds. And to call them astronauts sullies the actual men and women who put their lives on the line for the sake of exploration, humanity, and science.

is a pilot a pilot if his plane takes off, flies and lands on it's own as some can do?

Is a person camping if they goto a park and sleep in an RV ?

is a train conductor a conductor if his train does everything by itself?

it's very much expected that most future space flights if they go according to mission wont require human intervention. So are astronauts extinct?

the people you portray as true astronauts have the stipulations you've given to the moniker because of what was available at the time they did it... If rockets could do then what they can do now, they would have made a similar set of actions and have nothing additional to prove that they are an astronaut vs any current civilian one. Are you only an astronaut when things suck and you have to overcome them? are you only one if you do a bunch of stuff while up there instead of just look out a window, like maybe turn on some experiments and then turn them off when they're done? Maybe orbit the planet a couple times.

Your definition is chasing a preconceived image of what you want an astronaut to be, and not a practical one that differentiates the moniker. Perhaps new ones will need to be made, to differentiate all the humans who will eventually go into space and know nothing about it.... vs those who know everything about it. Like the difference between professional drivers and any idiot who can breath getting behind the wheel of a car. Both are still technically drivers though.
 
If I had to be serious, I would say.. the ones who are, or should be, considered astronauts, are the ones who are responsible for "doing things" especially if something doesn't go to plan. Everyone else is just a passenger.

Much like a driver of a regular car or even the one behind the wheel of a semi-autonomous one, they are the driver responsible for their passengers.
A pilot, may well have the plane do everything.. but if those things are not doing what they should be, the pilot should be able to take over and take matters into their own hand, again, responsible for the passengers.

That kind of thing, in a lazy way.. so eh eh calm down mates...
 
If I had to be serious, I would say.. the ones who are, or should be, considered astronauts, are the ones who are responsible for "doing things" especially if something doesn't go to plan. Everyone else is just a passenger.

Much like a driver of a regular car or even the one behind the wheel of a semi-autonomous one, they are the driver responsible for their passengers.
A pilot, may well have the plane do everything.. but if those things are not doing what they should be, the pilot should be able to take over and take matters into their own hand, again, responsible for the passengers.

That kind of thing, in a lazy way.. so eh eh calm down mates...

the thing with space as it currently exists, people tend to not have multiple options to be tested as such ... a couple tosses up is all you might get in a life time and if nothing bad happens, how can you differentiate them as an astronaut vs their passengers? they did the same things. (assuming someone who could handle an emergency was included).
 
the thing with space as it currently exists, people tend to not have multiple options to be tested as such ... a couple tosses up is all you might get in a life time and if nothing bad happens, how can you differentiate them as an astronaut vs their passengers? they did the same things. (assuming someone who could handle an emergency was included).

Yeah, fair enough, although I would wager, that the passengers likely don't know much about any controls, instruments or other procedures and have no training on such equipment / devices etc. Whether or not they are required is kind of irrelevant.

Sure, you could then say.. I play MS Flight Sim, so if I'm a passenger in a plane, am I a pilot... and to that I would say..
How do I know, I'm here to see cat memes and read funny things... so
smell-my-cheese-you-mother.gif
 
so your definition of astronaut has to do more with knowledge while existing in a given place rather than the actions taken in that space.

So there would need to be a test of some sort prior to going up that would designate you as being an astronaut.

But that still requires a new term ...as we would have to call space passengers something until it becomes so commonplace that there doesn't need to be one. Until that term comes around, i think we'll be stuck with astronaut describing both.
 
so your definition of astronaut has to do more with knowledge while existing in a given place rather than the actions taken in that space.

So there would need to be a test of some sort prior to going up that would designate you as being an astronaut.

But that still requires a new term ...as we would have to call space passengers something until it becomes so commonplace that there doesn't need to be one. Until that term comes around, i think we'll be stuck with astronaut describing both.

Bezonauts?
 
is a pilot a pilot if his plane takes off, flies and lands on it's own as some can do?
Yes, because at some point they would have qualified as a pilot, and have the knowledge and wherewithal to intercede if those automated systems fail. You know what those three CEOs/one former actor would have been if the giant spaceprick's automated systems had failed? Not astronauts. Pancakes.

Is a person camping if they goto a park and sleep in an RV ?
No, they're RVing, or living the "van life" or whatever the hell they're calling it.

is a train conductor a conductor if his train does everything by itself?
Conductors don't just actually drive the train, that's the engineer. The conductor is responsible for operational and safety duties that do not involve actual operation of the train/locomotive, most of which aren't automated, so... yes.

it's very much expected that most future space flights if they go according to mission wont require human intervention. So are astronauts extinct?
No, because again the people manning those flights will have had intense training on the maintenance, operation, and in the case of failure, piloting of those vehicles.

Your definition is chasing a preconceived image of what you want an astronaut to be, and not a practical one that differentiates the moniker.
No, my definition is the ACTUAL definition of the bloody term: a person trained, equipped, and deployed by a human spaceflight program to serve as a commander or crew member aboard a spacecraft. Not "a person who paid money to sit in a capsule to be booted up for five minutes, blink for a few seconds going 'oooh, aren't I important?' before crossing their fingers that the parachutes work."

Just because my six year old daughter rides in the back seat of my car, it doesn't make her a driver. It makes her a passenger.
 
so it's training... that you may not ever need nor have the opportunity to apply that makes you an astronaut when you go into space.

seems rather odd to make that distinction and spend a word on it.

I'd go with professional astronaut. leaving those who just take the entry exam to ride and make it to space as astronauts. instead of needing to invent a new word altogether to describe them
 
it's hardly semantics. you're stating that astronaut is a title that can only be applied by recognized institutions ... Astronaut has only overlapped with that kind of definition because only a couple of military-esque institutions were involved. what happens when places all over are sending people into space.. will there be an international test? Will there be a pilots federation formed to designate those who are worthy of the title astronaut? Or is astronaut a term of achievement for reaching a place in a given manner.
 
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