AP: Who’s an astronaut?

I wrote in a previous blog post that non-professional space travelers (space tourists) should have a term other than “Astronaut.” This AP article takes on the topic.

The dividing line for me seems to be, “are you going to work for a public or private space agency.” If yes, Astronaut, if no, Astrotaxedia is my preferred term.

Examples:
Bill Nelson current NASA admin and former shuttle rider, Astrotaxedia

Inspiration 4 crew Astrotaxedia

Pilot of Virgin Galactic Spaceplane Astronaut

Passenger on Virgin Galactic Spaceplane Astrotaxedia

Proposed: Space Tourists should be named Astrotaxida for “Space Wanderer”

With several new commerical space trips coming on the agenda, particularly the SpaceX Inspiration 4 and the new Virgin Galactic “Spaceship 3”, I’d like to discuss the use of the word “Astronaut” (and I guess “Cosmonaut”) would fit too.

Wikipedia defines Astronaut as :

An astronaut (from the Greek “astron” (ἄστρον), meaning “star”, and “nautes” (ναύτης), meaning “sailor”) is a person trained, equipped, and deployed by a human spaceflight program to serve as a commander or crew member aboard a spacecraft.

I’m glad that people are getting to live their dreams of going to the stars. However I think it’s time we distinguish someone who paid for their seat or are a “space tourist” with someone like Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin or Chris Hadfield who make their careers going into space. So, to differientiate I propose the following:

An astrotaxida (from the Greek “astron” (ἄστρον), meaning “star”, and “taxida” (ταξίδια), meaning “wanderer”) is a non-crew person traveling via a human spaceflight program.

I’m not trying to diminish anyone who goes to space, but I do think we should have unique terms for those who work among the stars. We distinguish between airplane pilots and airplane passengers. Let’s move that distinction to the space realm.

I would love to hear your thoughts, find me on Twitter at @n4bfr or Reddit at /u/N4BFR.

Building a Flip Dot Clock powered by a Raspberry Pi

Flip Dot clock as part of my clock wall.

It’s a nice confluence of my fandoms, I love old technology, I love clocks and I love Raspberry Pi’s, so when I found a Luminator 7×90 Flip Dot display on eBay in early January, I bought it. This is the fairly-detailed, well illustrated story of how I brought a 90’s sign together with a low cost but powerful computer.

Continue reading “Building a Flip Dot Clock powered by a Raspberry Pi”

Let’s have a Happy Week

I’ve just had it with every ad on TV or streaming telling me how to vote, how the administration is handling the pandemic and just general tired of being down. So I’ve declared it “Happy Week” and I’m posting 2 songs a day to pick things up.

Wednesday

Tuesday

Monday

Sunday

From the shop – 12V Power Pole Project

In my particular car, there is not a graceful way to wire the ham radio into a 12V battery so I have been using a 12V lighter socket. While it works fine, I am not happy with the fit and finish. The plug is in the way and it’s just not aesthetically pleasing to me. So I found a new plug and had to sacrifice the splitter part of the project to do it.

The Irwin Wire Strippers are available from Amazon: https://amzn.to/3ifn3nX and so is the 12V splitter: https://amzn.to/3gfrflK

I receive commission from Amazon if you purchase those items through the links above. Also, if you like my projects and prefer to fund me directly, click the “tip jar” link at the top of the page.