Blue Origin prepare for first human flight on New Shepard
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The former Amazon CEO will be blasting into space on his rocket, the New Shepard, along with his brother, Mark Bezos, Wally Funk, an 82-year-old woman who underwent astronaut training in the 1960s, and Oliver Daemen, an 18-year old student. “Everybody who has been to space — every astronaut comes back and they say that it changed them somehow,” Jeff Bezos told CNN.
“They’ve seen the thin limb of the Earth’s atmosphere and realised how fragile the Earth is.
“I don’t know how it’s going to change me but I know it’s going to and I’m excited to find out.”
Daemen is a student from the Netherlands and Blue Origin’s first paying passenger after his father bid for a seat beside the famed billionaire in a charity auction.
Wally Funk, however, is a pioneer in aviation as Funk was one of the 13 women who trained and tested to be astronauts 60 years ago but were left out in favour of their male counterparts.
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Her ride to space was a gift from Bezos.
“I’ve waited a long time . . . I kept thinking OK, Nasa’s going to help me go up,” Funk told ABC’s Good Morning America.
“It hasn’t happened but we’re going to do it now.
“I’m very excited.”
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Funk will be the oldest person to go into space and Daemen will be the youngest.
Wally Funk passed all of the tests that were required in the late 1960s.
“I can assure you that she’s still outperforming all the men at 82 years old,” Bezos said talking about Funk.
“She could outrun all of us.
“She’s also just a whirlwind of energy, a role model for determination and resilience and positivity.”
The crew will blast off at 2pm BST from Bezos’ private launch site near Van Horn in Texas.
The capsule where the four passengers will be seated will separate from its booster around 76km (250,000ft) from the ground.
“We’re in zero-g for around four minutes, and we get to get out of our seats, unstrap, float around, look at the thin limb of the Earth’s atmosphere,” Bezos told CBS News.
“People who have been up – astronauts – say that when they do that, they can see that the Earth is so fragile.
“The views are going to be terrific, the zero-g will be an unusual experience that you really can’t get in any good way on Earth.”
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