[suh-SAH-et-ee] Government-Issued Merit Badges
According to the FAA, Bezos doesn’t get bragging rights as an astronaut just because he flew higher, so he’d better put that asterisk back. In the first revision since it established the Commercial Astronaut Wings program in 2004, the FAA has narrowed down the definition of “astronaut” so as to rule out future billionaires whose idea of space exploration amounts to joyrides in suborbital space.
One of the conditions for someone to get their astronaut wings from the FAA is that they travel 50 miles (80 km) above Earth, and both Bezos and Branson have met it. But the FAA is now saying that would-be astronauts must also have “demonstrated activities during flight that were essential to public safety, or contributed to human space flight safety,” and neither meets this requirement. The change went into effect on July 20, the very day when Bezos made the inaugural 11-minute flight on the reusable rocket New Shepard.
There is a "program"? May I ask why there needs to be "a program"? Is this like congress getting involved with MLB? "You're ruining the fun! This is a fun contest! I wanna see who gets the blue ribbon!"? Hmm?
Not only is this a make-work program for the bureaucrats that get to sit on the Blue Ribbon committee, this is a make-work program for retarded news agencies to report on Breaking Nonsense. Should we start working on Yuri Gagarin style statues? Pat on the back by the state? 良々?
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