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Furry finishes record-breaking spaceflight on the Blue Origin


To boldly go, where no furry has gone before. Space furries are now real.

Cameron Bess, better known as Meeps Kitten, flew into space on board the Blue Origin. He is the first furry in space.

The Blue Origin capsule launched from West Texas. It flew 106 kilometres above the ground, giving the crew a few minutes of zero gravity. In the end, they landed safely in the desert. The trip took ten minutes.

Mr Cameron flew with his father, Lane Bess. According to media reports, they are the first father-son duo to fly into space.

Mr Cameron is also, reportedly, the first openly pansexual astronaut. Pansexual means someone who is romantically or sexually attracted to anyone, no matter their gender identity.

The flight crew on the Blue Origin included Michael Strahan, Laura Shepard Churchley, Evan Dick, and Dylan Taylor.

Not everyone is happy about it

Cameron Bess, or Meeps Kitten, inscribed the first pawprints of furry fandom in space. He was a part of the Blue Origin mission on Dec 13.

But not everyone is happy with him.

That is because Jeff Bezos founded Blue Origin. He is also Amazon’s founder and executive chairman.

Thus, critics flooded Meeps’ Twitter. They had put him together with the online shopping giant in a negative light.

Amazon is one of the most popular shopping platforms in the world. But, for years, they are under fire over areas like employment, safety, financial and environmental practices.

Bad timing?

On Friday (Dec 10), in the US, powerful tornadoes ravaged six states. Illinois is one of them. 

In Edwardsville, a powerful tornado partly collapsed an Amazon warehouse. Six employees died; another one was hospitalised.

This led to people spotlighting Amazon’s debated workplace safety practices. That included alleged phone bans.

Text messages allegedly from Larry Virden, one of the casualties, were spread wildly. “Amazon won’t let us leave”.

According to screenshots released by Bloomberg, a delivery service dispatcher told Virden to “shelter in place”. He did not leave for designated shelter areas.

Bloomberg says these text messages are verified “by someone familiar with the situation”. The person says, Virden was at a delivery station near the warehouse before the tornadoes hit.

The driver, this person said, was about 30 miles away from the cluster of facilities Amazon operates in Edwardsville and worked out of a delivery station across the highway from the building that was decimated by the tornado.

Bloomberg

Here, Amazon was hit by powerful tornadoes, casualties and increased scrutiny on its debated business practices. Especially with Virden’s casualty, this drew anger.

Happening on the backdrop of years-long criticisms against them, the incident, in turn, stained Bezos’ reputation again.

At the same time, Blue Origin is preparing for the NS-19 mission three days later (Dec 13).

The heat from Amazon’s Edwardsville incident bled onto the mission; furries kept using this incident to criticise Meeps.

Astronaut or not?

Meeps wrote “Blue Origin Astronaut” on their Twitter profile. Furries had a problem with it, pointing out they are a space tourist.

The definition of “astronaut” is inconsistent and not firmly defined. According to Cambridge-English Dictionary, an astronaut is:

a person who has been trained for travelling in space

But Merriam-Webster says:

a person who travels beyond the earth’s atmosphere

Online encyclopedia Britannica defines “astronaut” as:

… an individual who has flown in outer space

The Fédération Aéronautique Internationale (FAI) is the global governing body of air sports. They also define aspects of spaceflight. Section 8 of the FAI Sporting code reads:

  • “Spaceflights”: flights over 100 km above the ground;
  • “astronaut”: crew members and scientific personnel playing an active part in the mission during the flight.

All Blue Origin crew on Dec 13, except Michael Strahan and Laura S. Churchley, paid for their tickets. According to the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), they will fall under “human spaceflight participant”.

Space tourism is growing. As companies like Blue Origin grow, traditional perceptions of “astronaut” are rapidly going out of sync. That is because more civilians can now go to space.

Bezos took off onboard his first Blue Origin launch on July 19, 2021. One day later (Jul 20), the FAA narrowed its criteria for their Commercial Space Astronaut Wings Program.

They added one more detail. It says crew members must have “contributed to human space flight safety.” So did Bezos’ first Blue Origin flight fulfil that new criterion? It was up for debate.

The Commercial Space Astronaut Wings Program is:

To receive it, people:

  • must fly on a FAA-licensed aircraft
  • must be trained, fly and landed under FAA approval and standards;
  • must fly at least 80km above the ground.

Local US media interprets the astronaut wings as recognising someone as an astronaut.

But on Dec 10, 2021, the FAA announced they will end the program starting 2022.

From then on, anyone that flew over 80km above the ground will be listed on their website. Anyone who flew to space above 80km before 2022 will receive commercial astronaut wings.

This includes the Blue Origin crew on Dec 13, including Meeps.

Is Meeps the “first pansexual astronaut”?

The first LGBT astronaut was Sally Ride. She flew to space in 1983. After she died in 2012, it was known she was a lesbian.

Other known LGBT astronauts are Wendy B. Lawrence (lesbian) and Ana McClain (lesbian).

Lesbians are gay women – women who like women.

As of November 2021, more than 600 humans flew into space. But we don’t know if there were any more LGBT astronauts.

Medium author Francis French suggests LGBT people could have hidden their sexuality due to societal pressures.

That said, Meeps is the first openly pansexual person to fly into space. Whether that means they are an astronaut, remains to be defined.

Clout or not?

Meeps prided this mission on increased LGBTQ visibility. Furries countered this, saying it is “meaningless” because Meeps did not undergo formal astronaut training.

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has strict requirements for astronaut selections. But that does not apply to commercial space enterprises.

According to media reports, Meeps’ father Lane Bess bought tickets for the spaceflight. This is unconfirmed.

Furries took this aspect and framed it as, Meeps “(helping) to kill off Amazon workers”. We are not sure if this refers to Amazon’s work casualties or the Edwardsville incident.

They even say he flew to space “for clout”. Furry YouTuber Georgio says Meeps and his father could have donated their money to charities instead of flying to space.

That is why furries are angry at Meeps’ spaceflight. But they are also criticised for reacting like this.

Says furry YouTuber Morbid, Meeps’ criticisms stemmed from furries’ “moral superiority”.

Twitter user @shineFenTiger also says this is a matter of personal experience and achievement, not for clout.

Meeps state their father “donated well over both (their Blue Origin) ticket price” prior to his spaceflight. Their father’s donations are kept undisclosed.

We don’t know how much exactly is a Blue Origin ticket.

On July 20, 2021, a Blue Origin ticket was auctioned to an anonymous bidder at US$28 million. The bidder could not go, so 18-year old Dutch teenager Oliver Daemen went instead.

The takeaways

Meeps Kitten is the first furry and openly pansexual person to go to space.

Amazon’s Edwardsville warehouse incident on Dec 10 spotlighted again the online shopping giant’s debated business practices.

Anger from that bled onto the Blue Origin mission (Dec 13). Furries put Amazon’s business practices and the Edwardsville incident together with the Blue Origin mission.

They also criticised Meeps for calling themselves an astronaut. But the definition of “astronaut” is unclear, especially with space tourism’s growth.

Meeps, along with his crewmates on Dec 13’s Blue Origin mission, will receive the FAA’s commercial astronaut wings.

Does that make Meeps an astronaut? US media treats astronaut wings as naming someone an astronaut. But no formal connections exist between the two.

Edit 24-12-2021 2:09pm UTC+8: Added more information.


福瑞在蓝色起源号上完成破纪录的航天飞行

收看:首位太空福瑞;新的嘉宾;塔霍河新兽展 |《兽际兽闻》2021-12-16

勇踏前“兽”未至之境。太空福瑞,现在实现了。

卡梅隆·贝斯,兽设叫“Meeps Kitten”,搭乘蓝色起源号(Blue Origin)飞入太空。他是首位进入太空的福瑞。

蓝色起源号太空舱从得克萨斯州西部发射。它在离地面106公里的地方飞行,让船员有几分钟的零重力。最后,他们在沙漠中安全着陆。这次旅行花了10分钟。

卡梅伦先生与他的父亲莱恩·贝斯一起飞行。据当地媒体报道,他们是首个飞入太空的父子二人组。

报道也称,卡梅伦先生也是首位公开的泛性别宇航员。泛性恋是指对任何人,无论其性别身份如何,都有浪漫或性吸引力的人。

蓝色起源号上的飞行人员包括迈克尔·斯特拉汉、劳拉·谢泼德·丘利、埃文·迪克和迪伦·泰勒。

并非所有人对此高兴

Meeps在太空中刻下了福瑞的第一个爪印。但不是所有人都对他感到高兴。

这是因为杰夫·贝佐斯创立了蓝色起源。他也是亚马逊的创始人和执行主席。

因此,批评者涌入Meeps的推特。他们把他和这个网上购物巨头放在一起,对其进行了否定。

亚马逊是世界上最受欢迎的购物平台之一。但是,多年来,他们在就业、安全、财务和环境做法等领域受到抨击。

时机不恰当?

上周五(12月10日),在美国,强大的龙卷风肆虐了六个州。伊利诺伊州是其中之一。

在爱德华兹维尔,一场强大的龙卷风使一个亚马逊仓库部分倒塌。六名员工死亡;另一名员工被送往医院。

这导致人们聚焦于亚马逊有争议的工作场所安全做法。这包括所谓的电话禁令。

据称是伤亡者之一拉里·维登发送的短信被疯狂传播。”亚马逊不让我们离开”。

根据彭博社发布的截图,一名送货服务调度员告诉Virden”就地避难“。他没有离开去指定的庇护区。

彭博社说,这些短信已由”熟悉情况的人“核实。此人说,在龙卷风袭击之前,维尔登正处于仓库附近的一个送货站。

这位人士说,这位司机距离亚马逊在爱德华兹维尔经营的设施群约30英里,在公路对面被龙卷风摧毁的建筑物的一个快递站工作。

彭博社

在这里,亚马逊受到了强大的龙卷风、人员伤亡和对其有争议的商业行为的更多审查。维登的伤亡特别引起了人们的愤怒。

发生在对其多年批评的背景下,这一事件又使贝索斯的声誉再次受到损害。

与此同时,蓝色起源正在为三天后(12月13日)的NS-19任务做准备。

亚马逊的爱德华兹维尔事件的热度流传到了这次任务上;兽友们不断利用这一事件来批评Meeps。

到底是不是宇航员?

Meeps在他们的推特上写了”蓝色起源宇航员“。兽友对此有意见,指出他们是一名太空游客。

宇航员 “的定义是不一致的,没有坚定的定义。根据《剑桥-英语词典》,宇航员是:

为在太空中旅行而接受训练的人

但《梅里亚姆-韦伯斯特》说:

一个在地球大气层以外旅行的人。

在线百科全书《Britannica》将 “宇航员 “定义为

……曾在外太空飞行的人

国际航空联合会(FAI)是全球航空运动的管理机构。他们也定义了太空飞行的各个方面。据国际航空联合会运动守则第8条,以下方面被这样定义:

  • “太空飞行”:离地面100公里以上的飞行。
  • “宇航员”:在飞行过程中积极参加任务的机组成员和科学人员。

除了迈克尔·斯特拉汉和劳拉·谢泼德·丘利之外,12月13日蓝色起源的所有机组人员支付了他们的机票。根据美国联邦航空管理局(FAA)的规定,他们将属于“人类太空飞行参与者”。

太空旅游正在增长。随着像蓝色起源这样的公司的发展,对“宇航员”的传统看法正在迅速脱节。这是因为更多的平民现在可以进入太空。

2021年7月19日,贝索斯在他的第一次蓝色起源发射中起飞了。一天后(7月20日),联邦航空局缩小了其商业太空宇航员翅膀计划的标准。

他们又增加了一个细节。它说机组成员必须有 “对人类太空飞行安全的贡献”。那么,贝索斯的第一次蓝色起源飞行是否符合这一新标准?这有待商榷。

商业太空宇航员之翼计划是:

  • 表彰那些促进联邦航空局的使命,即促进运载人类的运载工具的安全的人。
  • 这包括那些在SpaceX和维珍银河公司等公司下发射到太空的人。
  • 受表彰的人将被称为 “商业宇航员”。
  • FAA将在他们的网站上列出他们,并给予宇航员徽章。

要获得它,人们:

  • 必须在FAA许可的飞机上飞行
  • 必须在FAA的批准和标准下进行培训、飞行和降落。
  • 必须在离地面至少80公里的地方飞行。

美国当地媒体将宇航员徽章看待为:一个承认某人是宇航员的表彰。

但在2021年12月10日,联邦航空局宣布他们将从2022年开始结束该计划。

从那时起,任何飞越地面80公里以上的人都将在他们的网站上列出。任何在2022年之前飞到80公里以上的太空的人都将获得商业宇航员徽章。

这包括Meeps在内的12月13日蓝色起源号机组。

Meeps是”第一位泛性别宇航员“吗?

第一位LGBT宇航员是莎莉·莱德。她于1983年飞往太空。在她于2012年去世后,人们知道她是一名女同性恋者。

其他已知的LGBT宇航员是温迪·劳伦斯(女同性恋者)和安娜·麦克莱恩(女同性恋者)。

女同性恋者是指喜欢女人的女人。

截至2021年11月,有超过600名人类飞入太空。但我们不知道是否还有LGBT宇航员。

《介质》(Medium)作者弗朗西斯·弗伦奇认为,LGBT人士可能因为社会压力而隐藏了自己的性取向。

也就是说,Meeps是第一个公开飞入太空的泛性人。这是否意味着他们是一名宇航员,还有待定义。

飞入太空,仅为提高社交媒体关注?

梅普斯为这次任务增加了LGBTQ的知名度而感到自豪。兽友们对此反驳道,说因为Meeps没有接受过正式的宇航员培训,这是”毫无意义的“。

美国国家航空航天局(NASA)对宇航员的选拔有严格要求。但这并不适用于商业航天企业。

据媒体报道,Meeps的父亲莱恩·贝斯买了太空飞行的票。这是未经证实的。

兽友们从这方面出发,将其归结为,Meeps”(帮助)干掉亚马逊工人”。我们不确定这是指亚马逊的工作伤亡还是爱德华兹维尔事件。

他们甚至说他飞往太空是为了 ”争取影响力“。毛兽YouTuber Georgio说自己宁愿Meeps和他的父亲把钱捐给慈善机构,而不是飞到太空。

这就是为什么兽友们对Meeps的太空飞行感到愤怒。但他们这样的反应也受到了批评。

毛兽YouTuber Morbid说,Meeps的批评源于兽友们的“道德优越主义”。

推特用户@shineFenTiger也说这是个人经验和成就的问题,而不是为了影响力。

Meeps表示,他们的父亲在进行太空飞行之前,“捐款远远超过了(他们的蓝色起源)的两张票价”。他们的父亲的捐款是不公开的。

我们不知道一张蓝色起源的票价究竟是多少。

2021年7月20日,一张蓝色起源的票以2800万美元的价格被拍卖给一个匿名竞标者。竞标者不能去,所以18岁的荷兰少年奥利弗-戴门代替去了。

总结

Meeps Kitten是第一个进入太空的公开泛性别的福瑞。

亚马逊12月10日的爱德华兹维尔事件再次凸显了其公司有争议的商业行为。这一事件的愤怒渗透到12月13日的蓝色起源任务中。

兽友将亚马逊的商业行为和爱德华兹维尔事件与蓝色起源任务放在一起。他们还批评梅普斯称自己是宇航员。

但 ”宇航员“的定义并不明确,特别是随着太空旅游的发展。

Meeps和他在12月13日的蓝色起源任务中的乘员一起,将获得联邦航空局的商业宇航员翅膀。

这是否使梅普斯成为一名宇航员?美国媒体将宇航员的翅膀解释为承认某人是一名宇航员。但两者之间不存在正式的联系。

编辑 2021-12-24 2:09pm UTC+8:补充了更多资料。

编辑 2021-12-25 1:21pm UTC+8:纠正了中文翻译。

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