Will People Get Astronaut Wings if They Go Up With Virgin or Blue Origin?

Episode 1812 (1:55:40)

Micah from Maine
Civilian Astronaut Wings

Micah is a member of the Airplane Geeks Podcast and has a question for Rod Pyle. He thinks that what Richard Branson did was OK for an airline flight. But Jeff Bezos taking Wally Funk up to space on Blue Origin's New Shepard is just plain genius. Leo says he definitely wins the PR war since Wally Funk is one of the Mercury 13: women who took the same tests as the Mercury Astronauts but were never chosen to be astronauts. Rod says that the Mercury 13 wasn't an official NASA program but part of the Lovelace Clinic that ran the tests for the Mercury program. Still, Funk is part of history as a result, and getting her to go up to space in her 80s is a huge get for Jeff Bezos. 

Will they get astronaut wings? Micah thinks they shouldn't since they're just passengers. Rod says it gets even more complicated since NASA says it's 50 miles up, while everyone else says the Von Karmann line is 62 miles up.  Branson got his wings today, along with everyone else on board Virgin's Unity 22 flight. So why not?