It’s tradition for space travelers to receive wings when they return from their trip. Whether military, civilian, or private, if you fly to space, a shiny pair of wings will most likely await you upon your return from some organization. This now includes private SpaceX passengers, as the Inspiration4 crew were the first to receive new Dragon wings.
Inspiration4 returned from their short stay in orbit two weeks ago and since then have been able to celebrate the milestone. A few days after the crew splashed down in the Atlantic Ocean, the team threw a private welcome home party with friends and family. That party included Hayley Arceneaux and Sian Proctor swinging from aerobatic wires.
On Friday Jared Issacman, Arceneaux, Proctor, and Chris Sembroski returned to SpaceX’s headquarters in Hawthorne to discuss their experience flying on Dragon. While there, the Inspiration4 team was given one-of-kind Dragon wings by SpaceX for their achievement of reaching space.
The pins depict the Dragon capsule surrounded by an actual dragon with its wings spread. Additionally, the pins have the Inspiration4 mission logo, the crew member’s name, and position on the back.
The next private mission to fly on SpaceX’s Crew Dragon spacecraft will be Axiom 1. This mission will also be the first private mission to visit the International Space Station and conduct research. Whether SpaceX or Axiom will be the ones awarding astronaut wings is unknown.
Other wings available to commercial astronauts
SpaceX isn’t the first company to give their customers wings when they return to Earth’s surface. Both Virgin Galactic and Blue Origin have their own version of “astronaut wings” to give their customers. However, while companies can claim those that ride on their vehicles are astronauts, only the FAA has the authority to officially grant them the title of commercial astronaut and award them with the FAA’s version of astronaut wings.
Featured Image: Inspiration4 / John Kraus
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