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The FAA Changed Its Definition of 'Astronaut' on the Same Day Jeff Bezos Went to Space

Jeff Bezos is a lot of things. A tax-dodging megalomaniac. A Dr. Evil lookalike. A weirdly horny cowboy hat enthusiast. The one thing he isn’t—at least as far as the Federal Aviation Administration is concerned—is an astronaut. ( More...

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patrick baker 6
jeff has the money to buy whatever designations his little heart desires. He , however, is in fact a near-earth semi, nearly, almost astronaut. astronaut-wanna be comes to mind...
Timothy Clark 4
I found it to be rather exciting to see an autonomous flight with human souls on the flight and what that may mean for aviation in the future. I'm totally blind and I find that to be exciting as it may one day make it possible for a blind person to fly their own craft.
Makes sense. To qualify as an astronaut, you should be bore than a passenger.
Steve Cutchen 2
The idea that a Branson passenger is an astronaut is insulting. Astronaut Reisman says; If I take a Carnival Cruise, I don't get epaulets and get called a sailer. The key is what is your role? Are you trained to do a job in space?

Poke your head above some altitude and la dee da, you're an astronaut? It's like driving up Pike's Peak and getting a medal that says you've climbed one of Colorado's fourteeners...

Astronauts are not about joy rides. Even Christa McAuliffe, Teacher In Space, had serious assignments had that crew lived to fly their mission.

Rides are a legitimate thing to do. It will become more and more common and cheaper. But it is a joy ride. Or maybe eventually really fast trans-continental flying. That's fine. But you're not an astronaut. You're a Disney, er, uh, Virgin park guest. Maybe the title should be something like astropassenger.
Johns Carey 2
The FAA should give them all Participation Trophies.
sparkie624 5
Sounds like a Joke from Comedy Central.. Bezo an Astronaut.... He is more likely a AstroNut!
Duane Mader 1
Self loading cargo.
Sidney Smith 1
Spam in a can
Space Shuttle crew members 5, 6, 7 had no launch or flight responsibilities as they were not seated on the flight deck. In the event of a controlled flight bail-out they would have been responsible to get the door open et al.
So, being a Billionaire is not enough, he has to have the astronaut wings to make himself feel accomplished?! Why not just have someone make you a little pair of wings, I think you can afford it since you paid for the rocket.
skylab72 -1
<Never enough> attitude is how you get to be a Billionaire...
ADXbear 1
"Dick shaped" vehicle.. I but harsh, but as a former space shuttle engineer for 21 years, I must agree with the FAA.. but I was wondering why the newly former Space Force didn't opine on this..

No astronaut wings..
ImperialEagle -1
The "Astroprick".
Klaus Marx 1 defines - Space Cadet:

noun Slang.
a person who appears to be in his or her own world or out of touch with reality.
a person who behaves oddly or seems stupefied or remote because of the influence of drugs; druggie.

Both Bezo and Branson earned their 'Space Cadet Wings' and that was before their out-of-atmosphere flights.
Tom Bruce 1
awwwww.... let 'em be an astronaut...
So, what do you all think makes someone an "astronaut"? Reaching a certain altitude? Circling the Earth at least once without using aerodynamic lift? Some involvement in controlling the vehicle? (There's no "right" answer; it's all nomenclature.)
s s 0
The first time millions of decent, loving people hoped for a rocket to fail spectacularly...
Barry Erlich 1
and kill 3 other innocent people including an 82 year old female former commercial pilot and one involved in the Mercury 13 astronaut program. She never got to go up into space because NASA did not allow females to do so during that time. Her name is Wally Funk....Google it. and I guess, according to your post that you and millions of other decent loving people would have also rejoiced at the death of an innocent 18 year old young man. Quit trying to be cute because you're not!
Jeff, when I received my first set of "pilot" wings from TWA back in the '60s - and a visitor to the flight deck, seated in the FE's chair for about 15 minuted, I was just a fully ticketed and paid up PASSENGER. Welcome to the club!
Edward Bardes 0
If I'm not mistaken, one of the passengers was also an NTSB investigator at one point.
Yup Wally investigated the incident in SAN where the light single collided with a PSA 727.


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