The 82-year-old woman, along with Wally Funk and Jeff Bezos, will fly into space on July 20 from their company Blue Origin, becoming the largest person to fly in space, the company said Thursday.
Also read: 28 million for space travel with Jeff Bezos
The billionaire, along with her brother Mark Bezos, will become her fourth passenger on the space tourism company’s first manned aircraft and will yet win an unnamed auction.
Wally funk era photo. Blue Origin by AFP
In the 1960s, a group of 13 women, part of a private program called Wally Funk “Mercury 13”, selected male astronauts to pass the same tests as part of NASA’s Mercury program to send the first Americans.
“They told me I was done better and faster than men,” Wally Funk said in a video posted to Jeff Bezos’ Instagram account at the time of the announcement. “I wanted to be an astronaut. But no one wanted to take me. I never thought I would get there. ”
Jeff Bezos | AFP
“No one can wait that long,” Jeff Bezos wrote in his post. “Welcome to the staff, Wally.”
Wally Funk became the first female inspector for the US Aviation Agency, FAA. As a pilot, she amassed 19,600 flight hours.
Blue Origin’s Rocket New Shepherd is scheduled to take off on July 20 and reach the Karman line, marking the start of space at an altitude of 100 km internationally.
The oldest man to ever fly in space was the American astronaut John Glenn, who sailed on the spacecraft Discovery in 1998 at the age of 77.
The first woman in space was the Russian Valentina Tereshkova in 1963, the first American Sally Ride … in 1983.
Glenn King, director of aerospace training at the Nastar Center, told AFP that going into space was “not an age-restricted issue”. “It really depends on each person’s health status.”
He himself trained an 88-year-old astronaut candidate, including a centrifuge – with a rotation length of about 8 meters, which reproduces the G-Force exposed to passengers. “He did very well.”
In early June, Jeff Bezos announced that he would be a member of Blue Origin’s first space cruise. The third ticket was auctioned off: the winner, whose identity remains a mystery, paid $ 28 million to participate.
The Blue Origin’s rocket will launch vertically on July 20 and separate the capsule at an altitude of 75 km, continuing its trajectory beyond 100 km – the Kerman Line, an inary hotspot marked by the International Convention.
Ambitious travelers float at zero gravity and can only observe the curvature of the earth for a few minutes.
The capsule then begins a free fall to return to Earth and is slowed down by three large parachutes and retro rockets before landing in the desert of western Texas. The trip takes a total of 11 minutes.
Wally Funk bought a ticket years ago to go into space on a competition ship called the Virgin Galactic.
The competition between Blue Origin and the company, founded by billionaire Richard Branson, continues, and is also part of the small tourist fleet in space.
Mr Branson tweeted in 2019 that Wally Funk “did not give up” even when he said “a woman’s space is not in space”, congratulating himself as the “future Virgin Galaxy astronaut”.
But Britain was once again hacked by Jeff Bezos. Mr Branson has announced that he will be boarding his spacecraft, but it is unlikely that it will be scheduled for an unannounced date and before July 20.