We all know why... Three cheers for female astronauts! Or cosmonauts! Or taikonauts, or whatever.
I personally don't see a problem (but acknowledge that it might exist):
(especially of an aircraft or spacecraft) having a human crew.
"a manned mission to Mars"
past tense: crewed; past participle: crewed
provide (a craft or vehicle) with a group of people to operate it. "normally the boat is crewed by 5 people"
act as a member of a crew, subordinate to a captain. "I've never crewed for a world-famous yachtsman before"
And, strictly technically, crewed does not even necessarily imply a human crew. Soviets launched a few canine crewed vehicles into orbit, and NASA launched a few chimpanzee crewed ones. I'm not saying that's a problem though as far as it concerns our tags LOL, just that they'd then be somewhat less specific. And we might then also need additional tags to distinguish between human operated, ... oh, I don't even wanna go there :)
I can however see no harm in making them as master names to avoid them being taken as sexist and keep existing ones as their synonyms, so our users can find them easier. Out of those tags that would apply:
- master: crewed-spaceflight ← synonyms: manned-space-flight + manned-flight
(also solves the problem with the hyphen in space-flight and might be somewhat easier to find by text if we had both versions)
- master: uncrewed-spaceflight ← synonyms: unmanned + unmanned-flight
(also extends searchability by using both flight and spaceflight in it's synonyms)
- master: crewed-missions ← synonyms: manned-missions
How does this sound?
In the professional field missions with humans on board are also called "manned missions". Now you can obviously argue that is a bad term etc etc.
But this isn't an english SE - it's about space exploration, so we should just use the well accepted term that is used in all literature & on the work-floor.
Why do different and create confusion?
The only qualm I have with this change is may increase confusion with regards to what I have always understood Crew to 'traditionally' mean.
"Crew" to me implies essential personnel. A car is a vehicle that requires one crew but can carry four passengers. Soon we will have space tourism "passengers". Theoretically, we could have a flight with zero crew and several passengers.
I would hesitate to call that flight "crewed" because we have to assume that none of those passengers were trained in any official capacity. They are essentially along for the ride on an unmanned flight. (uncrewed flight)
I like the spirit of this change but I don't like that we lose that "crew/passengers" dichotomy. Is there another term that is as clear as "manned/unmanned" is to people already?