Her dream of finally reaching the space will soon happen.
In a very surprising turn of events, Blue Origin CEO Jeff Bezos finally reveals the next person to fly with him in space. The third person to be sitting with him in a 10-minute hop using the New Shepard capsule will be an 82-year-old female aviator from the legendary Mercury 13.
Who is Wally Funk?
On Thursday, July 1, Blue Origin announced Wally Funk as one of the passengers to be flying to space in its first non-astronauts trip. Funk is one of the most known female astronauts in history. She was one of the woman aviators in the Mercury 13 group, composed of women who were not qualified at the time to become astronauts.
According to Space.com, the Mercury 13 aviators passed all the exams needed to become astronauts at the time. However, as tasked by the federal government, these women were denied to fly to space due to their gender. It was only in the year 1983 wherein Sally Ride became the first American woman to fly in space.
“They told me that I had done better and completed the work faster than any of the guys,” Funk said. “I didn’t think that I would ever get to go up.”
After several decades, her dream of finally flying to space will soon be coming true– all thanks to Jeff Bezos. In a video released by Blue Origins, Funk said she was very happy when the company reached out to her to become one of the passengers in the said space travel.
“I’ll love every second of it,” Funk said of her flight in a video released by Blue Origin. “I can hardly wait.”
Meanwhile, Jeff Bezos also sent his warm regards to Funk by saying ‘no one has waited longer’ than her to finally fly to space.
“No one has waited longer,” Bezos said via Instagram. “It’s time. Welcome to the crew, Wally. We’re excited to have you fly with us on July 20th as our honored guest.”
At age 82, Funk will soon be the oldest person to fly to space. She will beat the late John Glenn, who set a record at age 77 when flying aboard space shuttle Discovery in 1998.
Who else will be on the trip?
Aside from Jeff and Funk, the crew of Blue Origin will also be joined by the billionaire’s brother, Mark Bezos; and the winner of the recent online auction of the said seat (which as of now is still not yet known by the public.)
Do note that the travel will only be quick, around 11 minutes tops so any danger to their flight may not be that high of a possibility.
Keep out, Jeff!
Although the opportunity to fly to space is an exciting moment for the guests, a hilarious petition was recently caught online about the expensive trip to space. Turns out, more than 130,000 humans in Earth have signed in an online petition to keep Jeff Bezos out of Earth as soon as he flies to space.
The Change.org petition has a description saying, “Billionaires should not exist…on earth, or in space, but should they decide the latter, they should stay there.” Now, that’s funny.