Blue Origin flight Makes History with Youngest and Oldest Astronauts

The Youngest 18-Year-old Oliver Damon The Oldest Wally Funk 82-Year-Old

Wally Funk and Oliver Damon will be on the July 20 mission will be the first crewed spaceflight of New Shepard, which is named for Mercury 7 astronaut Alan Shepard, who also went on to fly with NASA’s Apollo program and land on the moon as part of Apollo 14.

Funk at 82 has taught over 3,000 students how to fly, she has over 19,600 flying hours. In 1961, at just 21 years old, Funk became one of the famous “Mercury 13” led by NASA astronaut physician Dr. Randy Lovelace. The program, which wasn’t affiliated with NASA, was a group of women that participated in testing that parallel with NASA’s (male) Mercury 7

Oliver Damon, who graduated from high school last year, secured a spot on the New Shepard’s voyage on July 20 after the person who won the spot at an auction had a scheduling conflict. In addition to being the youngest person in space, Damon will also be the first paying customer for Blue Origin, marking the Bezos-funded company’s first foray into commercial spaceflight.

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