The US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has awarded small gold pins called Commercial Space Astronaut Wings to Blue Origin founder Jeff Bezos and Virgin Galactic founder Richard Branson, who have completed private space flights this summer.

The FAA has been awarding the wings badge to participants of commercial space missions since 2004, when Virgin Galactic's SpaceShipOne completed the first crewed private spaceflight.

However, after almost 20 years, the FAA decided to end the program starting 2022. Instead of issuing badges to people who take part in commercial space missions, their names will be listed on the administration's website. Anyone on an FAA-licensed or permitted launch to reach 50 miles above the Earth can be listed.

Those who flew into space this year will be able to receive the wings badge until the end of 2021. This way, Jeff Bezos, who went into space on July 20, will receive the award.

Another billionaire, Richard Branson, will also receive Commercial Space Astronaut Wings. He went into space nine days before Bezos.

In July, Richard Branson and Jeff Bezos did not qualify as astronauts.

Jeff Bezos and Sir Richard Branson Are Not Technically Astronauts
The US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has adopted new rules for determining astronaut status that lets a person receive Astronaut Wings badges. Since 2004, the agency has been awarding them to participants of commercial space missions.

In addition to Bezos and Branson, 12 more people were recognized as astronauts. They were participants in the space missions of Blue Origin, Virgin Galactic, SpaceX.