Jeff Bezos is going to space if you haven't heard. But while that may not sound big to you, you should also know that he's going there with a female aerospace tech pioneer.
Wally Funk, who was supposed to go to space 60 years ago as part of the legendary Mercury 13 space program, will join Bezos on his flight in three weeks' time, according to a report by ClickOrlando. Funk was part of an all-women team who underwent astronaut training back in the 60s but never made it to space--not even NASA's astronaut corps--just because they were female.
Jeff Bezos is scheduled to orbit with his Blue Origin spacecraft called the New Shepard rocket ( named after Alan Shepard, the first American to go to space) on July 20, where Funk will be riding honored guest. She also joins two other people onboard: Bezos' brother and a still-unnamed person who paid $28 million in an auction to go to space with the Amazon founder.
Jeff Bezos himself broke out the news in an Instagram post, where he posed with Funk and wrote the caption, "no one has waited longer." According to a report by The Verge, Wally Funk's inclusion is the latest in Blue Origin's efforts to inaugurate its space tourism program.
In an interview, Funk, now 82, said of the news: "Nothing has ever gone my way. They said, 'well, you're a girl. You can't do that.' I said, 'guess what, doesn't matter what you are. You can still do it if you want to and I like to do things that nobody has ever done."
The flight that will include Jeff Bezos and Wally Funk is Blue Origin's first crewed space mission, which the Scientific American reported will be held on the 52nd anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landings. It is scheduled to last around 11 minutes, meaning the crew will be reaching the very edge of the Earth's atmosphere and then go back down again.
Jeff Bezos and Blue Origin: A Worthy Competitor for SpaceX?
When it comes to talking about space programs other than NASA's and the ESA's, what's the first name that comes to mind? Yes, you guessed it: SpaceX. Bezos' Blue Origin, on the other hand, is more or less the second fiddle.
However, Bezos and the team behind Blue Origin have not been shying away from contesting Elon Musk's interplanetary escapades. It's worth noting that earlier this year, they contested the awarding of NASA's moon exploration contract to SpaceX, citing certain flaws in the deal.
There is, however, another noteworthy thing about the aforementioned moon mission. Called Artemis, the NASA and SpaceX partnership aims to land the first female astronaut on the moon when it launches as part of the so-called "Moon to Mars'' plan.
But if there's a woman who deserved to see the void of space for so long, it's Wally Funk. And with Jeff Bezos' Blue Origin spacecraft, the dream that she's been barred from achieving for six decades is going to become a reality.
This article is owned by Tech Times
Written by RJ Pierce