Are you an astronaut just because you ride a spaceship? This is a new debate and we have decided to ring in.
The word “astronaut” comes from the Greek words for “star” and “sailor.”
Jeff Bezos’ rocket company, Blue Origin, has begun selling seats on its crafts to the outer dimension. They call these ticket buyers “astronauts.” But does buying a seat on a spacecraft make you an astronaut? The word connotes someone with some accreditation in physics, aerodynamics, engineering, technology. Not someone who can just score a ticket.
We say this is pretty simple. Airline passengers are not called pilots. Boat passengers are not captains. Space passengers are not astronauts. Astronauts are flight crew. Passengers can be called rocketmen. Or rocketperson. Sir Elton has spoken.