Who counts as an astronaut? Not Jeff Bezos, say new US rules


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People who take commercial flights to space generally won’t qualify for astronaut wings

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Space tourism is ramping up with the recent flights to space of billionaires Richard Branson and Jeff Bezos aboard their respective companies’ spacecrafts, but not every person who goes to space is officially considered an astronaut. The US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has tightened its rules for how it awards astronaut wings to those riding on private space flights, making it harder to become an official commercial astronaut.

What are FAA astronaut wings?
In the US, there are three agencies that designate people as astronauts: the US military, NASA, and the FAA. The former two only give wings to their own employees, so the only way to be officially recognized as an…

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