Crew and customers who fly to space on Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo, will be awarded space pins by the Association of Space Explorers (ASE).The first pin was presented to Virgin Galactic Chief Astronaut Instructor, Beth Moses, at the International Astronautical Conference in Washington DC.
Beth became the 571st person to fly to space in February when she completed a live evaluation of cabin dynamics during Virgin Galactic’s second spaceflight. This trip made her commercial astronaut 007 and the first female to fly on board a commercial spaceship.
“It’s wonderful to be presented with this new pin,” said Beth. “It’s a real honor to be recognized by an association which counts so many pioneers of space exploration among its members. I’m looking forward to working with them to continue to inspire and educate people around the advantages of seeing the world’s problems from the perspective of space. A lot has changed since humanity first entered space, but the fascination with space and everything surrounding it remains the same.”
Founded in 1985 by a small group of US, Russian and international fliers, the Association of Space Explorers is an international non-profit organization of over 400 flown astronauts and cosmonauts from 38 nations. With the world now on the cusp of the second space age, the ASE will recognize early adopters, like Beth, who complete suborbital trips to space with private companies on a mission to open space to all.
This means that crew and customers who travel more than 50 miles above the Earth’s surface with Virgin Galactic or other private companies, will receive a pin from ASE. This honor will also be issued retrospectively to those who have already completed spaceflights, such as Beth.
“The Association of Space Explorers is very pleased to acknowledge the significant accomplishment of suborbital spaceflight,” said Michael Lopez-Alegria, recent President of the ASE. “We look forward to this new demographic of space fliers adding to our own voices in promoting the benefits of human space exploration, greater stewardship of our home planet, and inspiring the next generation.”