I have read that tourists who performed a sub-orbital spaceflight with Virgin Galactic will receive some kind of astronaut badge. However, on the Wikipedia page on the United States Astronaut Badge, it doesn't say anything about space tourists. What kind of badge will tourists who performed a sub-orbital spaceflight receive?


We don't know yet.

The closest we have come is Beth Moses who flew as a "test passenger" in VSS Unity VF-01 and became the first non-pilot and the first woman to be awarded the FAA Commercial Astronaut Wings.

However, the FAA only awards Commercial Astronaut Wings to flight crew who promote the safety of commercial space launch vehicles, and requires, among other things, that the awardee has completed an FAA certified training. (As of now, all awardees are Virgin Galactic pilots with the exception of Beth Moses who is a Virgin Galactic engineer.)

None of this will apply to commercial passengers.

Beth Moses was part of the flight crew, as a test passenger, and received astronaut training (which is an understatement, since she is actually the Chief Astronaut Instructor for Virgin Galactic).

Some astronauts have spoken out in favor of creating a separate, and clearly designated category, to distinguish people who dedicate their lives (sadly too often quite literally) and years over years of hard training to their profession (and passion) on one side from bored rich people on the other.

Of course, nothing is stopping Virgin Galactic from handing out Virgin Galactic Astronaut Badges to their commercial passengers. Nothing is stopping me from handing out an Intergalactic Astronaut Badge to myself either, as long as I don't use any trademarked symbols or phrases in its design.


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