I’ve seen a lot of social media banter about if or not the Inspiration 4 crew
should be called “astronauts.” Perhaps we need a new name for these sorts of
people- such as… (fill in the moronic suggestions here)
stop. JUST STOP!
noun: One who flies in space, space venturer.
four individuals climbed atop a rocket that was just nine feet shorter than an
Apollo Saturn IB and launched with 1.71 million pounds of thrust, which was
just over 100,000 pound greater than the Saturn IB, and flew to an orbital
altitude higher than any humans had flown since Apollo 17- which took place just
14 months shy of a half century ago. And then the Inspiration 4 crew returned
safely by splashing down in the Atlantic off Cape Canaveral. They were the
first all-rookie crew to orbit the Earth since Skylab 4 launched on November 16th,
isn’t space venturing, I don’t know what is.
watching spaceflight since Freedom 7 and this WAS a space mission accomplished
by people who have earned the title of “Astronaut.”
who quip about billionaire and who paid for what, let’s take a look at this
mission’s Pilot In Command; Jared Isaacman. Aside from being a highly
successful businessman, he is also a highly skilled pilot. He flies right wing
for the Black Diamonds jet flight demonstration team and broke the world record
for circumnavigating the globe in an aircraft. Plus, he holds a degree from the
Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. Frankly, as a retired professional pilot,
I’d be confident sitting next to him in any flying machine, any time- including
these crewmembers trained for this mission and none of them just walked aboard
because they simply had a ticket.
people launched from sea level, orbited the Earth higher than anyone in a half
century and returned to sea level. They all four are astronauts and to argue
that point, is completely missing the point