Meet 18-year-old Oliver Daemen who went to space with Bezos

AFP
Texas Published: Jul 20, 2021, 10:25 PM(IST)

Jeff Bezos, Wally Funk and Oliver Daemen after Blue Origin's reusable New Shepard craft capsule returned from space Photograph:( AFP )

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Oliver Daemen, 18, became the youngest astronaut. He holds a private pilot's license and is a space enthusiast who will study physics in university this fall.

Blue Origin's maiden crewed flight on Tuesday involved four people who crossed the Karman line, which separates Earth's atmosphere from space, for the very first time.

Here is a brief look at the quartet of soon-to-be astronauts.

Jeff Bezos, 57, had founded the Blue Origin spaceship company in 2000. Six years before that, he started a small online bookstore called Amazon.com out of his garage. Bezos' net worth is today estimated at more than $200 billion.

Bezos invited his brother Mark for ride into space. Mark is a financier who directs the Bezos Family Foundation and works as a volunteer firefighter.

The pair are best friends and Jeff shared the moment he surprised his sibling, six years his junior, by asking him to join the mission in a video that went viral on Instagram last month.

At 82, barrier-breaking woman aviator Wally Funk became the oldest ever astronaut fulfilling a lifelong dream that was thwarted by the sexism of the early space era.

Funk, who took her first flying lesson aged nine, excelled in the Mercury 13 project which was intended to train women for space using the same standards as male astronauts but the program was eventually nixed.

She nevertheless had an accomplished career in aviation becoming the first female air safety investigator for the National Transportation Safety Board and serving as chief pilot in several flight schools.

Oliver Daemen, 18, became the youngest astronaut. He holds a private pilot's license and is a space enthusiast who will study physics in university this fall.

The Dutch teen took the place of still anonymous winner of a $28 million public auction, who asked to pass this time because of "scheduling conflicts," and will go on a later trip.

Daemen's ticket was paid for by his father, the CEO of a private equity firm, CNBC reported.

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