The US Federal Aviation Administration changes the definition of ‘astronaut’ and Jeff Bezos does not meet the criteria


24 Jul 2021 02:18 GMT

The billionaire boasted that those aboard the Blue Origin ship are astronauts without “an asterisk next to their name”, for reaching the height of 100 kilometers.

On the day of the flight into space of the New Shepard spacecraft of the Blue Origin company, owned by Jeff Bezos, the Federal Aviation Administration of the United States changed its definition of who can be considered astronauts, and according to the new interpretation, Bezos is not.

The billionaire did meet one of the requirements to earn that title by exceeding the limit of 80 kilometers high, or 50 miles, considered the beginning of outer space. In fact, it went further and crossed the Kármán line set at 100 kilometers, also agreed by many as the dividing line between atmosphere and space.

However, to enter the astronaut category, according to the government entity, he had to carry out activities during the flight that could be considered “essential for public safety or that they contributed to the safety of human space flights. “

Thus, under the new requirement for those who intend to display the insignia, Bezos would be left out of the category because he effectively did nothing about it during his first flight into space. His New Shepard ship was fully autonomous and operated from Earth, leaving the crew with no pending tasks on board.

In the midst of a strong rivalry with another billionaire, British Richard Branson who flew into space in the Virgin Galactic spacecraft nine days before him, Bezos stressed that those aboard the Blue Origin rocket are astronauts without “an asterisk next to them. in his name “, for reaching the height of 100 kilometers.