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Wednesday, December 8, 2021

Jeff Bezos Picks 18-12 months-Outdated Dutch Pupil for Blue Origin Rocket Launch

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“This can be a dream come true!” Mr. Daemen mentioned in a information launch from the household. “I hadn’t counted on this in any respect till final week that shocking telephone name from Blue Origin got here. That is so unbelievably cool! The flight to and into house solely takes 10 minutes, however I already know that these would be the most particular 10 minutes of my life.”

Blue Origin’s spacecraft, New Shepard, is designed for transient space-tourist flights, much like Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo. However, in contrast to Virgin Galactic’s house airplane design, New Shepard is extra of a standard rocket that launches vertically. Close to the highest of the arc, the capsule, the place as much as six individuals 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 will probably be 4 individuals aboard: Mr. Daemen; Mr. Bezos; Mr. Bezos’ brother, Mark; and Mary Wallace Funk, a pilot who within the Sixties was amongst a gaggle of girls who handed the identical rigorous standards that NASA used for choosing astronauts. However that was at a time when the house company had little interest in deciding on girls as astronauts.

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

In accordance with the household’s information launch, Mr. Daemen and his father, Joes Daemen, founding father of Somerset Capital Companions within the Netherlands, had been intrigued by the potential of getting on the flight. “However when the bids began to skyrocket throughout the public sale, 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. In accordance with the Daemens, the value is lots decrease than the $28 million successful bid. The cash they paid will probably 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 embrace AstraFemina, a collective of girls in science and engineering who goal to function position fashions to women; the Brook Owens Fellowship, which provides paid internships and fellowships to undergraduate girls; and Greater Orbits, an experimental studying lab for highschool college students.

Kitty Bennett contributed analysis and Claire Moses contributed translation.

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