The youngest astronaut in history will fly with billionaire Jeff Bezos on July 20
Sylvie Claire / July 16, 2021
An 18-year-old will become the youngest astronaut in history on July 20 when he flies alongside billionaire Jeff Bezos on the maiden flight of Blue Origin's spacecraft, the aerospace company announced Thursday.
Fresh out of high school in 2020, Oliver Daemen, who holds a private pilot's license, is Blue Origin's first paying passenger, but is not the winner of the $28 million auction for a seat on board. The passenger asked to remain anonymous, and will fly on a future mission, the company said.
The announcement marks the beginning of commercial operations for New Shepard, Blue Origin's spacecraft, said Bob Smith, the company's boss.
Flying aboard New Shepard will fulfill a lifelong dream for Oliver Daemen, who has been fascinated by space, the Moon and rockets since he was four years old, a release said.
He plans to study physics and innovation management at Utrecht University in the Netherlands starting in September.
The future student will join Blue Origin founder Jeff Bezos, his brother Mark, and Wally Funk, the oldest future astronaut in history at 82, among the passengers on the first manned flight of the New Shepard craft.