An 18-year-old is set to join Amazon founder Jeff Bezos on his flight to space on July 20. With this trip, he will also become the youngest human to travel to space.
Bezos-owned Blue Origin’s New Shepard spaceship will take 11 minutes after the rocket takes off from a desert in western Texas Tuesday.
Somerset Capital Partners CEO Joes Daemen had booked a seat on the second flight of New Shepard, but he was upgraded to the first one after the anonymous traveller who had won a seat on the spacecraft for $29.7 million opted out “due to scheduling conflicts”. He has “chosen to fly on a future New Shepard flight”.
Daemen was excited, but he decided to send his son Oliver to fly with Jeff and his brother Mark Bezos instead. The crew will be joined by 82-year-old aviator Wally Funk, who will become the oldest person to fly to space.
The company didn’t disclose the amount paid by the Daemens for the spaceflight.
Oliver Daemen is a physics student, who claims to be fascinated by space, the moon, and rockets since he was four.
In a video posted on Twitter, Daemen said, “I am super excited to go into space” and “I’ve been dreaming about this all my life.”
Oliver completed high school and took a break in 2020 to get his private pilot’s licence. He intends to study innovation management along with physics in the University of Utrecht (Netherlands) starting in September 2021.
Blue Origin CEO Bob Smith has been quoted in a statement as saying that Oliver represents a new generation of people who will help them build a road to space.
The New Shepard spacecraft will fly passengers 100+ km above the earth’s surface for a 10-minute mission (with three to four minutes in space).
The launch date coincides with the 51st anniversary of the Apollo moon landing in 1969 with Neil Armstrong, Michael Collins and Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin.
New Shepard has flown more than 12 test flights without humans and can carry up to six passengers.