teenager chosen to fly in space with Bezos | Voice of America

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18-year-old Oliver Daemen received some exciting news from the Blue Origin flight team on Thursday: he will fly into space on July 20.

Daemen, who will attend Utrecht University in the Netherlands this fall, will be the youngest person to reach space when he sets off aboard Blue Origin’s New Shepard flight. A press release from his family said Daemen had “dreamed of it all [his] life.”

Blue Origin announced Thursday that an initially scheduled passenger would not be able to take the flight to the edge of space due to scheduling conflicts. The anonymous winner of the company’s public auction spent $ 28 million on the seat next to Bezos. Until then, Daemen had to travel on Blue Origin’s second flight after bidding unsuccessfully on the auction.

Daemen’s father, Joes Daemen, is the CEO of an investment firm in the Netherlands, and Blue Origin has refused to disclose what he paid for the theft. The person who bought the $ 28 million note remains anonymous.

Donations to associations

The company said $ 19 million of the auction proceeds would go to 19 space-specific nonprofits, each receiving $ 1 million. Selected associations include AstraFemina, a group of women in science and technology dedicated to providing young girls with role models, and the Brook Owens Fellowship, a mentorship program for undergraduate female students interested in space exploration. .

FILE – In this 2019 photo provided by NASA, Mercury 13 trainee astronaut Wally Funk visits the Glenn Research Center at Lewis Field in Cleveland, Ohio.

Also making history is Mary Wallace “Wally” Funk, 82, who will become the oldest person to fly in space. Bezos announced on Instagram that Funk will be a “guest of honor” for the first Blue Origin flight.

Funk participated in the privately funded Mercury 13 program in 1961 which trained women to go into space. The 13 women received the same preparation as the NASA astronauts, but were ultimately refused employment because of their gender. Funk was the youngest to graduate from the course and was reportedly told she “got the job done faster than any of the guys.”

The three passengers will be joined by Bezos’ brother Mark on Blue Origin’s maiden flight.


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