OLDEST PERSON EVER TO GO TO SPACE

YOUNGEST PERSON EVER TO GO TO SPACE


July 15 (Reuters) - An 18-year-old physics student whose father heads an investment management firm is set to take the place of a person who put up $28 million in an auction to take part in the inaugural space tourism flight for billionaire Jeff Bezos' Blue Origin company.

Blue Origin said on Thursday Oliver Daemen will join the four-member all-civilian crew for Tuesday's scheduled flight after the auction winner, whose name had not been made public, dropped out due to unspecified "scheduling conflicts." Daemen becomes the company's first paying customer.

His addition means that the flight is set to include the oldest person ever to go to space - 82-year-old trailblazing female aviator Wally Funk - and the youngest, Daemen, according to Blue Origin. Joining them for Blue Origin's suborbital launch will be Bezos and his brother Mark Bezos.

Daemen is working to obtain his pilot's license and is set to attend the University of Utrecht in the Netherlands to study physics and innovation management in September, Blue Origin said. His father is Somerset Capital Partners CEO and founder Joes Daemen.


Also making history is Mary Wallace "Wally" Funk, 82, who will become the oldest person to fly into space. Bezos announced on Instagram that Funk would be an “honored guest” for the first Blue Origin flight.

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

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