Jeff Bezos Picks 18-Year-Old Dutch Student for Blue Origin Rocket Launch

“This is a dream come true!” Mr. Daemen mentioned in a information launch from the household. “I hadn’t counted on this at all until last week that surprising phone call from Blue Origin came. This is so unbelievably cool! The flight to and into space only takes 10 minutes, but I already know that these will be the most special 10 minutes of my life.”

Blue Origin’s spacecraft, New Shepard, is designed for transient space-tourist flights, much like Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo. But, in contrast to Virgin Galactic’s house aircraft design, New Shepard is extra of a standard rocket that launches vertically. Near the highest of the arc, the capsule, the place as much as six folks sit, separates from the booster. The booster and the capsule coast to an altitude above 62 miles, regarded by many because the boundary of outer house. The capsule’s touchdown is slowed by a parachute.

On this primary flight, there might be 4 folks aboard: Mr. Daemen; Mr. Bezos; Mr. Bezos’ brother, Mark; and Mary Wallace Funk, a pilot who within the 1960s was amongst a bunch of girls who handed the identical rigorous standards that NASA used for deciding on astronauts. But that was at a time when the house company had little interest in deciding on ladies as astronauts.

At 18, Mr. Daemen would be the youngest individual ever to go to house. At 82, Ms. Funk, who goes by Wally, would be the oldest.

According to the household’s information launch, Mr. Daemen and his father, Joes Daemen, founding father of Somerset Capital Partners within the Netherlands, had been intrigued by the potential of getting on the flight. “But when the bids started to skyrocket during the auction, we dropped out,” Joes Daemen mentioned.

Blue Origin didn’t reveal how a lot the Daemens had been paying for the seat; it has not but publicly introduced a value for tickets. According to the Daemens, the worth is quite a bit decrease than the $28 million successful bid. The cash they paid might be donated by Blue Origin to a charity that has not but been decided.

On Wednesday, Blue Origin introduced that $19 million from the $28 million successful bid will go to 19 space-related nonprofit organizations — $1 million every. The recipients embody AstraFemina, a collective of girls in science and engineering who goal to function position fashions to women; the Brook Owens Fellowship, which gives paid internships and fellowships to undergraduate ladies; and Higher Orbits, an experimental studying lab for highschool college students.

Kitty Bennett contributed analysis and Claire Moses contributed translation.

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