18-Year-Old and 82-Year-Old Aviation Pioneer To Become Youngest and Oldest People in Space

by Madison Miller

As the mysterious dimensions of outer space get closer and closer to our future, we’re sending both the past, the present, and the future to take a look at what space has to offer.

Both the youngest and oldest people to ever go into space will be flying on the New Shepard spacecraft. This launch is the first human-crewed space flight so far.

Youngest Person in Space

The youngest is 18-year-old Oliver Daemen. He graduated from high school one year ago and is now a paying customer for the Last Frontier.

According to NPR, Daemen has been enjoying a gap year before starting his college career, which will be in the Netherlands. He wasn’t originally one of the lucky winners of a seat during the auction. However, someone had to forfeit their seat due to scheduling conflicts, meaning Daemen is now has a trip to space in his future.

In an online video, Daemen shared his utter excitement at getting this once-in-a-lifetime experience. He stated, “I am super excited to go into space. I’ve been dreaming about this all my life.”

Oliver Daemen has been working toward getting his private pilot’s license, meaning his interest in reaching great heights is already fully in progress. He’s planning on pursuing physics and innovation management at the University of Utrecht.

The original passenger paid $28 million for their trip to space in an auction. They would have been paying $42,424 per second.

Oldest Passenger on New Shepard

Oliver Daemen will have some pretty stellar company on his trip. The mission into space will only last 11 minutes. The passengers will get to experience weightlessness for a few minutes. They will also get to look out viewing windows to see Earth in all its glory.

Those selected for the flight are now on their way to Texas to prepare for the launch this upcoming Tuesday. Alongside him will be Jeff Bezos and his brother Mark Bezos.

He will be joined with 82-year-old Wally Funk. She trained to be an astronaut back in the early 1960s. She was denied the job due to her gender, but will finally get the chance to fulfill her lifelong dream of making it into space.

She’s beating John Glenn’s record. He was 77 when he went into space on Discovery in 1998. According to The Guardian, Funk was one of the Mercury 13 pilots in 1961. She volunteered to be a part of a new program to allow women to qualify for the growing astronaut program. It was led by William Randolph Lovelace and Funk graduated third in the rigorous class.

She was told she did better than any of the guys, but the program was shut down when the federal government stated that women shouldn’t be allowed to be in military facilities used for space training.

“No one has waited longer,” said Bezos in his Instagram post announcing her as a guest on the flight.