Amazon's Jeff Bezos, Virgin Galactic's Richard Branson stripped of 'astronaut' titles by FAA

ByAndrew Morris WLS logo
Monday, July 26, 2021
Bezos, Branson stripped of newfound 'astronaut' titles
Billionaires Jeff Bezos of Amazon and Virgin Galactic CEO Richard Branson are no longer official astronauts after FAA changes space flight definition.

SAN FRANCISCO -- The Federal Aviation Administration has tightened the official definition of an astronaut, meaning Jeff Bezos and Sir Richard Branson have been stripped of the title, according to the U.S. government.

Astronauts have to be part of a crew that contributes to public safety or human spaceflight safety, according to the FAA. Both Bezos and Branson failed to reach that mark during their recent flights.

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The updates from the FAA were announced on the same day Bezos completed his flight aboard his Blue Origin rocket last week.

The official rules were changed for the first time in 17 years.