Blue Origin First Human Flight Wally Funk

Wally Funk becomes the oldest person to go into space

Wally Funk has made history by becoming the oldest person to go into space, and has finally realised her dream of being an astronaut.

Thanks to Jeff Bezos, Funk was finally able to go into space on Blue Origin’s New Shepard first crewed flight to space. The journey was New Shepard’s 16th flight to space.

Funk and Bezos were also be joined by his brother Mark Bezos, and the auction winner on the flight, 18-year-old, Oliver Daemen.

The flight lasted around 11 minutes from launch to capsule landing. Astronauts experienced three to four minutes of zero-gravity and travelled above the Karman Line, which is considered to be the boundary of space.

About Wally Funk

Mary Wallace “Wally” Funk was born 1st February 1939, in Las Vegas.

Wally is an American aviator, commercial astronaut, and Goodwill Ambassador.

She was the first female air safety investigator for the National Transportation Safety Board, the first female civilian flight instructor at Fort Sill, Oklahoma, and the first female Federal Aviation Agency inspector.

Wally is also one of the Mercury 13. The Mercury 13 Women in Space Program was a privately-funded program to see how women would cope with space training.

The women were put through the same rigorous physical and mental testing as male astronauts. Wally passed her tests and was qualified to go into space. Her score was the third best in the Mercury 13 program.

However, despite completing their training, the program was cancelled, and none of the thirteen flew.

Wally never gave up her dream of going into space and  when NASA finally began accepting women in the late 1970s, Funk applied three times. Despite her impressive credentials, she was turned down for not having an engineering degree or a background as a test pilot.

In July 2020, Wally published a memoir, Higher Faster Longer —My Life in Aviation and My Quest for Space Flight .

Watch the launch below


About Blue Origin

Blue Origin was founded by Jeff Bezos with the vision of enabling a future where millions of people are living and working in space to benefit Earth. To preserve Earth, Blue Origin believes that humanity will need to expand, explore, find new energy and material resources, and move industries that stress Earth into space. Blue Origin is working on this today by developing partially and fully reusable launch vehicles that are safe, low cost and serve the needs of all civil, commercial and defense customers. Blue’s efforts to fly astronauts to space on New Shepard, produce reusable liquid rocket engines, create a highly-reusable orbital launch vehicle with New Glenn and return Americans to the surface of the Moon—this time to stay—will add new chapters to the history of spaceflight and move us closer to fulfilling that founding vision.

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