Jeff Bezos went to the edge of space. Does that make him an astronaut?

An astronaut is considered someone who goes into space to engage in purposeful work. So, IMO, they’re not real astronauts. I’ve been in a submarine that went underwater. Am I now a submariner? Btw, that was at Disneyland when I was 6 years old.

But they aren’t tourists either since they are helping to blaze the way for both astronauts and tourists, thus advancing the cause in getting us more engaged with what space offers.

These are pioneers who are also adventurers risking their lives in “pushing the envelope”.
 
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Dec 21, 2019
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"Funk, who prepared to be an astronaut as part of the 1961 Mercury 13 program but was excluded from spaceflight by NASA because of her gender..."

For the love of God, will you please stop beating this dead horse about poor mistreated Wally Funk, denied her destiny because of the male chauvinism of early-'60s NASA!

Funk and the others of the so-called "Mercury 13" did NOT "train" to be astronauts; all they did was take and pass some of the extensive battery of medical tests that the Mercury candidates underwent. But there was much more to being selected as an astronaut than physical health.

The Mercury program's mission, far beyond seeing how the human body reacted physically to weightlessness, required taking an essentially experimental spacecraft into the unknown environment of space, where NO ONE had experience. Therefore (and quite reasonably) one of NASA's main requirements was that all candidates had to be pilots in one of the the U.S. military services, with extensive flight time as a TEST PILOT in high performance JET aircraft. To a much greater extent than with the Soviets' Vostok capsule, the astronauts of the Mercury spacecraft would be in control of their vehicle, and that required pilots with experience in handling unexpected and unforeseeable flight situations. It would be decades before ANY woman could meet the qualification of being a military test pilot, much less one in high-performance jets; at the time when the Mercury astronauts were being selected, Wally Funk (the most accomplished pilot of the thirteen) had never even been IN a jet.

One could argue that maybe women should have trained and served as combat pilots alongside all along, from World War I and on through WWII, into the jet age in Korea, and earned the right to be military test pilots in the '50s just as John Glenn, Alan Shepard, Gus Grissom, and the others of the Mercury Seven were. BUT THEY DIDN'T.

When NASA decided on the criteria for its new astronauts, they didn't exclude women because of their sex. They excluded them because, fair or not, there were NONE who were QUALIFIED.
 
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Dec 21, 2019
52
13
4,535
Visit site
An astronaut is considered someone who goes into space to engage in purposeful work. So, IMO, they’re not real astronauts. I’ve been in a submarine that went underwater. Am I now a submariner? Btw, that was at Disneyland when I was 6 years old.

But they aren’t tourists either since they are helping to blaze the way for both astronauts and tourists, thus advancing the cause in getting us more engaged with what space offers.

These are pioneers who are also adventurers risking their lives in “pushing the envelope”.

Your Disneyland analogy is quite apt. The self-indulgent suborbital jaunts that Bezos and Branson made this month were little more than the world's most expensive carnival rides. They may raise awareness (and funds) for more important work later on, but right now their "astronaut wings" mean about as much as the plastic pilots wings kids get on an airliner. And for the same reason.
 
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