Shed a tear for passengers on Jeff Bezos‘ joyrides to area: their journeys might not make them official astronauts.

The tragic ruling comes courtesy of the Federal Aviation Administration, which regulates all points of civil aviation within the US.

In a new order, the transportation company listed two methods to qualify for FAA Business Area Astronaut Wings:

  1. You might have the suitable flight crew {qualifications} and coaching, have flown past 50 miles above Earth on a licensed launch, and have demonstrated actions throughout flight that had been both important to public security or contributed to human area flight security.
  2. Your “contribution to business human area flight deserves particular recognition.”

The hazy definition suggests Bezos and Richard Branson may nonetheless get wings for spearheading business area flight. However different vacationers on their rockets — like Elon Musk — will not be so fortunate.

That sounds truthful to me. Tremendous-rich passengers who’ve merely purchased a ticket don’t deserve the identical title as professionals who dedicate their lives to area exploration.

A extra becoming title could also be “cashstronauts,” as TNW’s Tristan Greene calls them.

A few of them, nevertheless, might benefit the dignity, reminiscent of Wally Funk, a pioneering aviator who joined Bezos on his ego journey.

The 82-year-old had spent six a long time making an attempt to achieve area. However she nonetheless sounded unimpressed by her maiden voyage:

We went proper on up and I noticed darkness. I assumed I used to be going to see the world, however we weren’t fairly excessive sufficient.

Funk was additionally dissatisfied that she couldn’t do “extra rolls and twists and so forth,” as “there was not fairly sufficient room for all 4 of us to do all these issues.”

Future flights

If passengers on Blue Origin and Virgin Galactic automobiles aren’t deemed astronauts by the US authorities, it is going to be a blow to the egos of Branson and Bezos.

The end result would notably galling for Bezos, whose rocket agency has mocked the credibility of its rival’s journeys.

Blue Origin suggested passengers on Virgin Galactic’s Unity will without end have asterisks alongside their names as they wouldn’t move the “internationally acknowledged” altitude the place area begins.

It appears as if Blue Origin clients could have an asterisk of their very own.

HT — Eric Berger

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