Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin reveals the name of the fourth passenger and the first teen astronaut to ever fly to space for its first commercial spaceflight.
On Thursday, Jeff Bezos’ space venture Blue Origin announced the fourth passenger for his first commercial spaceflight planned for July 20. The 18-year-old Oliver Daemen is set to become the youngest astronaut to ever fly to space. The space firm revealed that the winning bidder for Blue Origin’s first passenger flight New Shepherd has spent a whopping $28 million. Further in the statement, Bezos’ firm informed that the high school graduate is currently pursuing education at the University of Utrecht, Netherlands. He will be the youngest flyer to make the suborbital trip, which will also be carrying Amazon boss’ brother Mark and an 82-year-old aerospace pioneer Wally Funk, the oldest person to travel to space.
Daemen was a participant in last month’s auction, a spokesperson from Blue Origin reportedly said. Blue Origin arranged for him to go on the second New Shepard flight. However, later, with seats available on the first flight, his trip was re-arranged, the spokesperson said. Of the total $28 million paid by the teen, $19 million would be allocated to the 19 space-focused non-profit organizations.
“We thank the auction winner for their generous support of Club for the Future and are honoured to welcome Oliver to fly with us on New Shepard,” Blue Origin CEO Bob Smith said in a news release on July 15.
“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,” he added. Blue Origin further said that the flight “will fulfill a lifelong dream for Oliver, who has been fascinated by space, the moon and rockets since he was 4.”
‘Oliver represents a new generation of people..’, says CEO
Daemen owns a private pilot’s license and is expected to resume his physics and innovation management course at the university. The teen’s LinkedIn bio states that he was born in Tilburg in the Dutch province of North Brabant, at some distance from the Belgian border. In his Instagram posts, he can be seen with the founder and CEO of a Dutch investment firm called Somerset Capital Partners named Joes Daemen. Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin spaceship New Shepherd has taken as many as 15 uncrewed flight tests over the past six years. “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,” Blue Origin’s CEO Bob Smith said in a statement.