Agence France-PresseJuly 16, 2021 12:44:29 IST
Blue Origin announced Thursday that an 18-year-old paying customer will fly into space on a space flight occupied by a company virgin on July 20 and will become the youngest astronaut of all time.
Oliver Daemen, who graduated from high school last year as a private pilot, will be the fourth member of the crew among Blue Origin founder Jeff Bezos, mogul’s brother Mark and obstacle-breaking female pilot Wally Funk.
However, he is not the winner of the $ 28 million auction, which space enthusiasts eagerly follow. They have asked to remain anonymous and will fly to a future post due to a schedule conflict, according to the company.
“This marks the beginning of New Shepard’s commercial operations, and Oliver represents a new generation of people who are helping us build the road to space,” said Bob Smith, CEO of Blue Origin.
The new Shepard, named for the first American astronaut in space, Alan Shepard, is Blue Origin’s reusable rocket system.
Smith also thanked the auction winner for supporting the Club for the Future, the Blue Origin Foundation, which this week announced it would donate $ 1 million to 19 nonprofits promoting science and technology.
Flying on New Shepard will fulfill his lifelong dream for Daemen, who has been fascinated by space, the moon and rockets since the age of four, the statement said.
He plans to attend Utrecht University in the Netherlands to study physics and innovation management in September.
The company did not disclose Daemen’s citizenship, but his Instagram, which had pictures of him enjoying the surfing, kiteboarding and diving, has comments mainly in Dutch.
Ticket prices have not been disclosed.
At 6 and 8 p.m., Daemen and Funk are the youngest and oldest astronauts traveling into space.
Space tourism is rising
Bezos, the richest person in the world, hopes to join Richard Branson to get into space on a ship built by the company he founded.
Branson achieved the performance on the Virgin Galactic spacecraft on Sunday, a significant moment for the emerging space tourism industry.
While Bezos goes second, Blue Origin is proud of its experience.
The Blue Origin rocket violates the internationally recognized space limit at an altitude of 100 kilometers, while Virgin Galactic violates the 50-mile limit recognized by the United States.
The new Shepard reusable rockets, which launch vertically from the ground, are more environmentally friendly than the space flight launched by Virgin Galactic, which emits greenhouse gases and soot.
Blue Origin’s goals also extend far beyond space travel, and the company aims to become the main contractor for NASA operations.
Currently, NASA’s leading private sector partner is Elon Muskin SpaceX, which began taking astronauts to the International Space Station in 2020 and developing a deep space rocket for future Mars operations.