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FAA to stop issuing commercial astronaut wings

Mark Bezos, Jeff Bezos, Oliver Daemen, Wally Funk
Posted at 7:56 PM, Dec 10, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-10 19:57:05-05

The Federal Aviation Administration announced Friday that it will soon no longer give out commercial astronaut wings due to the rise in popularity of space tourism.

Starting in 2022, people who reach space will be recognized with their names on the FAA website.

The FAA says the Astronaut Wings program was created "to recognize pilots and flight crew who furthered the FAA’s mission to promote the development of vehicles designed to carry humans into space."

Now that three companies are licensed by the FAA to provide commercial spaceflights, the agency says the vision of the program's creator is "largely fulfilled."

Richard Branson, Jeff Bezos and William Shatner are among those receiving their wings for taking part in flights this year.

People who travel to space prior to the end of 2021 will also receive their wings.

Good Morning America co-host Michael Strahan is scheduled to be among the crew in a Blue Origin rocket that is scheduled to reach space on Saturday. The flight was originally scheduled for Thursday, but it was delayed due to high winds in Texas.