Suborbital spacefliers will get pinned

Beth Moses gets pinned

Virgin Galactic’s chief astronaut trainer, Beth Moses, gets her suborbital spaceflier pin from Michael Lopez-Alegria of the Association of Space Explorers. (GeekWire Photo / Alan Boyle)

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Will the customers who fly on the suborbital spaceships operated by British billionaire Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic and Amazon billionaire Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin get astronaut wings? That’s not in the cards, because those wings are typically reserved for flight crews. But at least they’ll get a lapel pin to mark their achievement.

The pin, created by the Association of Space Explorers, made its debut today on the lapel of Beth Moses, chief astronaut instructor at Virgin Galactic. She was pinned here at the International Astronautical Congress by former NASA astronaut Michael Lopez-Alegria, the association’s president.

Moses already has her commercial astronaut wings from the Federal Aviation Administration, by virtue of her trip beyond the 50-mile mark in February as a crew member aboard Virgin Galactic’s VSS Unity rocket plane. But she’s glad to have the pin as well.

Get the full story on GeekWire.

About Alan Boyle

Aerospace and science editor for GeekWire, creator of Cosmic Log, author of "The Case for Pluto: How a Little Planet Made a Big Difference," president of the Council for the Advancement of Science Writing. Check out "About Alan Boyle" for more fun facts.
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