An 82-year-old woman will join Jeff Bezos, his brother Mark and the winner of an auction on Blue Origin’s first tourist spaceflight on July 20, the company announced on Thursday.
Wally Funk has always wanted to be an astronaut. Her dream started in the 1960s and seemed to become a reality when she graduated as the youngest in the Woman in Space Program. This privately funded project tested female pilots for suitability to become astronauts.
She was also part of the Mercury 13, women who underwent the same tests as the (male) astronauts that NASA eventually selected for the first manned US space program, Mercury. However, the ladies never went into space.
Funk is now allowed by flying as a special guest at the age of 82 with billionaire Jeff Bezos’ New Shepard. She thus becomes the oldest human in space and outclasses John Glenn, who went into space for the second time in 1998 at the age of 77.
The flight, which starts in Texas, lasts about half an hour and takes the space tourists to the edge of space, where they are weightless for about three minutes before returning their capsule to ground level.
The still unknown winner of the auction has $ 28 million on the table.