The dreams of billionaires Richard Branson and Jeff Bezos about becoming astronauts have been shattered, because NASA has tightened the definition of that term.
Astronauts must be part of the crew and contribute scientifically and contribute to the safety of spaceflight.
These are the first changes introduced to the definition of the term “astronaut” since the FAA introduced it in 2004.
Due to the new rules, Jeff Bezos and Sir Richard Branson cannot be named astronauts, although they have met the condition to fly at an altitude of 80 kilometers.
The notion of commercial astronaut was introduced, which involves fulfilling only the altitude condition, which the two billionaires have achieved.
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The changes were made on Tuesday, the same day that the richest man in the world, Jeff Bezos, flew to the edge of space with a “Blue Origin” rocket. Nine days before him, British billionaire Richard Branson performed the same feat while flying in a “Unity” rocket from his “Virgin Galaxy” company.
As commercial astronauts, Bezos and Branson cannot receive official orders from the FAA. The labels of the astronauts, which were hung on space suits after the flights, were made by their companies and are not official orders.