(RepublicanInformer.com)- Jeff Bezos’ trip to the edge of space doesn’t meet the standards of a space flight, meaning the billionaire founder and former CEO of Amazon is not actually an astronaut. It means he doesn’t qualify for his Astronaut Wings after the United States Federal Aviation Authority changed its rules.
Last Tuesday, Bezos took a crew on his Blue Origin rocket that blasted off from Van Horn, Texas, and reached the edge of space. It took place on the 52nd anniversary of the moon landing and was the second rocket launch that contained a billionaire to take place in the space of roughly a week. The rocket ascended for around four minutes, floated in zero gravity for four minutes, and then returned to the ground.
But despite reaching zero gravity, the flight doesn’t qualify Bezos and his crew to become astronauts they must have contributed to the flight – and this was an autonomous flight. Astronauts need to control the rocket while also traveling beyond 50 miles of the mark that is technically defined as space by the Federal Aviation Authority.
Nonetheless, the rocket did actually enter into space. The Blue Origin New Shepard rocket passed the 50-mile mark without the crew controlling the rocket. The space flight also broke three records, with Wally Funk becoming the oldest person to go to space, Oliver Daemen the youngest person to go to space, and Bezos the richest person to go to space.
Bezos was beat, however, by Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic flight. The crew were awarded commercial FAA Astronaut Wings after they flew the spaceplane from a cockpit control panel.
The two flights are expected to usher in a new era of commercial space flight – and who knows? Perhaps Bezos will take a second stab at becoming an astronaut.