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  Is Ronnie Nader now to call an astronaut?

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Author Topic:   Is Ronnie Nader now to call an astronaut?
East-Frisian
Member

Posts: 398
From: Germany
Registered: Apr 2005

posted 06-13-2007 01:34 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for East-Frisian     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I don't speak Spanish, but we got a letter as follows to update his page on spacfacts:

Would you please update Ronnie Nader's page, Mr. Nader is now the first ecuadorian astronaut, officially qualified by GCTC and the Ecuadorian Air Force, with the rank of ASA/T Mission Especialist, here is the press release

But I have problems, to call him already now an astronaut, also he seems to be in training only for a suborbital flight. Any ideas?

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 27328
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 06-13-2007 03:06 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
No, I wouldn't call Mr. Nader an astronaut, at least not until he (a) launches on a vehicle from the United States, and (b) reaches an altitude of at least 62 miles (100 km).

While there are NASA employees who hold the title "astronaut" without having yet flown, the term in their case is being used a job title. To my knowledge, Mr. Nader does not work as a full time (or even part time) astronaut.

As best I can tell, Mr. Nader purchased a sub-orbital spaceflight reservation with Space Adventures, which also means he doesn't yet know on what vehicle he will fly or even the order he will do so. It's entirely possible that another Ecuadorian will fly before him by purchasing a ticket with a different company or by buying an orbital trip to the ISS in the interim. And if he launches from somewhere else than the U.S., he will presumably adopt the title adapted for that nation's space travelers (e.g. cosmonaut, taikonaut, etc.).

You could note in his biography that he has conducted training in preparation for his flight with the GCTC, but I think you are correct to leave him listed among the candidates for now.

Kirsten
Member

Posts: 503
From: Delft, Netherlands
Registered: Apr 2001

posted 06-16-2007 05:20 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Kirsten   Click Here to Email Kirsten     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Hm. I am pretty sure this topic has been raised before, but somehow Robert's definition confuses me.

If I understand it correctly, the definition of "astronaut" is someone who has reached an altitude of 100 km or more on a US vehicle, or an employee of NASA who bears this title because they are in spaceflight training?

In other words: a NASA employee who flies his first space mission on a Soyuz is still an astronaut, or is he a cosmonaut? *nitpick*

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 27328
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 06-16-2007 08:38 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Kirsten:
In other words: a NASA employee who flies his first space mission on a Soyuz is still an astronaut, or is he a cosmonaut?
He would be both: a NASA astronaut by profession and an American cosmonaut by flight status. At least that is how I understand it based on NASA's own usage. Take for example Norm Thagard's NASA biography:
Norman E. Thagard (M.D.)
NASA Astronaut

...most recently, Dr. Thagard was the cosmonaut/researcher for the Russian Mir 18 mission.

Thagard's personal patch for Mir 18 introduces another less formal title, "AstroCosmonaut".

All times are CT (US)

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