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Amazon founder Jeff Bezos and the three other companions who arrived in space on Tuesday aboard Blue Origin’s New Shepard rocket, they will not be officially recognized as astronauts, according to the United States Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).
The above responds to a sudden change to FAA rules that establish the requirements for Commercial Astronaut programs. The FAA change took place on the same day that Bezos, along with his brother and two other travelers, made the historic flight.
The FAA alteration is the first of its kind in 17 years. Before the modification of the Administration, to be recognized as an astronaut, the person had to fly at a minimum altitude of 50 miles. The recent change added a stipulation that any commercial flight must include activities that are essential to public safety or contribute to the safety of space flight.
The FAA also added that it is the entity in charge of allowing crews to participate in commercial flights, so those interested will need to apply for a commercial space flight permit from the FAA for the crew and for the spacecraft.
Richard Branson and the other crewmembers last week’s trip to space via a Virgin Galactic space plane does not apply these rules to them and they were recognized as astronauts, as the trip took place before the rule change.
Bezos took off into space at about 9:12 am from Var Horn base in Texas.
Also on the rocket were 82-year-old pilot Wally Funk; Oliver Daemen, an 18-year-old Dutch student and the son of a billionaire, and Mark Bezos, brother of the former Amazon CEO.
Both Funk and Daemen thus became the oldest and youngest person, respectively, to reach space.
The New Shepard rocket, named after Alan Shepard, was made in commemoration of the death, on July 21, 1998, of this first American in space.
– Engadget (@engadget) July 21, 2021
ICYMI: Watch Jeff Bezos launch into space on Blue Origin’s first passenger flight pic.twitter.com/ynJ1dop7zl
— Tech Insider (@TechInsider) July 22, 2021
The trip lasted just over ten minutes and climbed about 107 kilometers in height.
Once at the highest point of the journey, passengers were able to experience the lack of gravity for a few minutes.
The passengers descended from the manned capsule, which was on top of the booster rocket, with the help of three parachutes.
The passengers took with them Amelia Earhart’s glasses with which she crossed the Atlantic and a piece of canvas from the plane of the American Wright brothers, also pioneers of aviation.
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Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.