18 year old Oliver Daemen is about to become the youngest person to fly into space having won a spot on Jeff Bezos’ upcoming Blue Origin launch. In addition to founding e-commerce giant Amazon, Bezos also owns The Washington Post and founded space exploration company Blue Origin. With an estimated net worth of $177 billion, Bezos is considered the world’s richest person. At 18, Daemen will become the youngest person to ever travel to space from Earth.
On July 20, Bezos is planning to fly into space aboard his new New Shepard rocket. Joining Bezos will be Wally Funk, a pilot and flight instructor that was part of Mercury 13, a group of female pilots who underwent testing to determine whether women could handle space travel in the 1960’s. By joining Bezos on this mission, Funk will become the oldest person in space at 82. Jeff Bezos’s brother, Mark, will also join him for this historic spaceflight.
Today, Blue Origin announced that 18 year old Oliver Daemen will become the remaining passenger on the first flight, a slot which was auctioned off to the highest bidder. The original $28 million winner of the auction encountered “scheduling conflicts”, forcing Blue Origin to award the slot to the second place winner, which is Daemen. Due to his bid, Daemen was slated to be a passenger on the second flight.
“We thank the auction winner for their generous support of Club for the Future and are honored to welcome Oliver to fly with us on New Shepard,” Blue Origin CEO Bob Smith said. “This marks the beginning of commercial operations for New Shepard, and Oliver represents a new generation of people who will help us build a road to space.”
De 18-jarige Oliver Daemen uit Tilburg wordt de jongste astronaut ooit en de vierde Nederlander in de ruimte. Hij gaat mee met de ruimtereis van #BlueOrigin van #JeffBezos. Oliver is onderweg naar Texas, waar de lancering dinsdag plaatsvindt.https://t.co/hMsJWorRQK pic.twitter.com/5Xl3mqSAJt
— Bright (@Bright) July 15, 2021
In a statement released by Blue Origin, Daemen has said he’s been fascinated by space since he was a child. After taking a gap year to get his private pilot’s license, he plans to attend the University of Utrecht in the Netherlands to study physics and innovation management in the fall.