Jeff Bezos is not an astronaut by the new Jeff Bezos may have to settle for an “honorary” title in his space race ambitions after the U.S. Air Force changed the requirement for “astronaut” titles.
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) issued a 600.2 order on the same day that the former Amazon CEO had taken the plane aboard his Blue Origin earlier this week. The base reaches a minimum height of 50 miles above the Earth’s surface, but it will probably be lower than other standards.
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Jeff Bezos is not an astronaut by the new Future astronauts must take part in activities during the flight that will contribute to the “necessary for the protection of public safety” or “the protection of human space”. Also, astronauts must meet aircraft crew and training requirements under federal regulations.
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The FAA has not yet clarified what counts as a qualifying activity.
Competitor billionaire Richard Branson, who flew his spaceship rocket, can still qualify when he manages the two pilots while testing his rocket cabin experience. Branson also received a flight license before traveling into space.
According to the BBC, Blue Origin CEO Bob Smith said before the first flight that Bezos and his passengers had “really nothing to do” during the flight as it was an autonomous vehicle, the BBC reported.
Blue Origin has 100 million in private sales and 2 additional human missions for this year.
The FAA decided to tighten its standards as both Bases and Branson sought to open up commercial spaceflight to the public: Branson became the first owner of a space agency to travel in his own spacecraft on July 11, and Bases flew on July 20.
The company has opened an office in Houston, Texas, to better monitor competitors.
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“In order to ensure public safety as the pace of commercial space management increases, the FAA must adapt, be swift and vigilant,” Wayne Montaith, the FAA’s associate commercial aerospace administrator, said in a statement. “The Houston Field Office will help us achieve this important goal.”