FAA: No extra business astronaut wings, too many launching


Oliver Daemen, from left, Mark Bezos, Jeff Bezos, founding father of Amazon and space tourism firm Blue Origin, and Wally Funk, proper, participates in a publish launch briefing the place they mentioned their flight expertise aboard the Blue Origin New Shepard rocket at its spaceport close to Van Horn, Texas, on July 20, 2021. The Federal Aviation Administration mentioned Friday, Dec. 10, 2021, they’re not current business astronaut wings beginning subsequent 12 months, too many individuals are launching into space. All 15 individuals who rocketed into space this 12 months on personal flights from the U.S. will nonetheless obtain their wings from the FAA. Credit: AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez, File

Heads up, future space vacationers: No extra business astronaut wings might be awarded from the Federal Aviation Administration after this 12 months.

The FAA mentioned Friday it is clipping its astronaut wings as a result of too many individuals at the moment are launching into space and it is getting out of the astronaut designation enterprise completely.

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The information comes one day forward of Blue Origin’s deliberate liftoff from West Texas with former NFL participant and TV superstar Michael Strahan. He and his 5 fellow passengers will nonetheless be eligible for wings because the FAA is not ending its long-standing program till Jan. 1.

NASA’s astronauts additionally don’t have anything to fret about going ahead—they’re going to nonetheless get their pins from the space agency.

All 15 individuals who rocketed into space for the primary time this 12 months on personal U.S. flights might be awarded their wings, in accordance with the FAA. That consists of Blue Origin founder Jeff Bezos and Virgin Galactic’s Richard Branson, in addition to the opposite space newbies who accompanied them on their temporary up-and-down journeys. The firms handed out their very own model of astronaut wings after the flights.

All 4 passengers on SpaceX’s first personal flight to orbit final September additionally certified for FAA wings.

Adding Blue Origin’s subsequent crew of six will convey the list to 30. The FAA’ s first business wings recipient was in 2004.

Earlier this 12 months, the FAA tightened up its {qualifications}, specifying that awardees have to be educated crew members, versus paying clients alongside for the trip. But with this system ending, the choice was made to be all-inclusive, a spokesman mentioned.

Future space vacationers will get their names placed on a FAA business spaceflight listing. To qualify, they need to soar a minimum of 50 miles (80 kilometers) on an FAA-sanctioned launch.

“The U.S. commercial human spaceflight industry has come a long way from conducting test flights to launching paying customers into space,” the FAA’s affiliate administrator Wayne Monteith mentioned in an announcement. “Now it’s time to offer recognition to a larger group of adventurers daring to go to space.”

Daughter of first American astronaut to launch on Blue Origin flight

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