Commercial Human Spaceflight Astronaut Categorizations: A Capitalist Perspective

In an era marked by the growth of commercial space operations, traditional astronaut classifications, rooted in a time when space exploration was strictly within the purview of government-funded programs, are increasingly found to be inadequate. As the variety of roles, responsibilities, and missions within the spaceflight industry proliferate, the existing binary delineation between ‘professional’ and ‘non-professional’ astronauts falls short.

The following is a attempt to delineate astronaut classifications from the context of the one factor that really matters in a commercial market context – money – specifically, who is giving money and who is receiving money and for what.

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