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Tuesday, Sep 27, 2022

Jeff Bezos asks woman, 82, to travel into space with him

Jeff Bezos asks woman, 82, to travel into space with him

Amazon boss Jeff Bezos has asked an 82-year-old woman to travel into space with him later this month.

Wally Funk will join Bezos and his brother Mark onboard the first human flight in one of the multi-billionaire’s space company’s rockets, on July 20.

In 1961 Funk, 82, was a part of the ‘Mercury 13’ Woman in Space Program and despite completing her training as an astronaut, never got to travel into space.

She will occupy the third and final seat onboard the Blue Origin rocket when it leaves earth’s atmosphere and travels into space in less than three weeks time.

Wally trained as an astronaut in 1961 but never got to go to space

Wally Funk, 82, has always wanted to travel into space

In June Bezos opened bidding for an auction for the final seat on the spaceship which included nearly 6,000 participants from 143 countries.

It’s unclear if Funk won the auction or has been hand-picked by Bezos himself.

In a video posted on Instagram to announce Funk’s involvement in the adventure, she said she has been flying planes all her life and has more than 19,000 flying hours.

She also explained how she has taught more than 3,000 people to fly throughout her career.

‘I can’t tell people how fabulous I feel to have been picked to go on this trip’, said an elated Funk.

She added: ‘I will love every second of it and can hardly wait.’

Bezos founded Blue Origin in 2000 and established a launch facility in West Texas in 2015. The name New Shepherd comes from Alan Shepherd, the first American to travel into space back in 1961.

Blue Origin founder Jeff Bezos speaks after receiving the 2019 International Astronautical Federation (IAF) Excellence in Industry Award on October 22, 2019

Blue Origin has been locked in competition with another private space company, Elon Musk’s SpaceX, for lucrative Nasa contracts.

The compartment at the tip of the New Shephard rocket is where Bezos and other paying tourists will sit during their trip to the cosmos.

The capsule is designed to carry up to six passengers, who will float in zero gravity for 10 minutes while taking in the views at some 340,000 feet above Earth’s surface.

The seats recline fully and the capsule is fitted with the largest windows to ever travel into space.


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