Summary List Placement
On July 20, Blue Origin will send the youngest-ever person to space.
The space exploration company announced Thursday that 18-year-old Oliver Daemen will fly onboard its New Shepard spacecraft alongside Jeff Bezos, his brother Mark, and 82-year-old aviator Wally Funk when it blasts off next week.
Blue Origin said in a blog post announcing the news that Daemen will its the first paying customer, though he is not the person who bid $28 million for the seat at an auction last month — the company said that that person, who is still choosing to remain anonymous, will fly on a future mission “due to scheduling conflicts.”
According to CNBC, Daemen participated in the auction and had already secured a seat on Blue Origin’s second flight, but the company “moved him up” when the auction winner deferred. Daemen’s father, Joes, the CEO of Somerset Capital Partners, paid for the seat, CNBC reports.
Daemen, who graduated from high school last year, has obtained his pilots license and will study physics and innovation management at the University of Utrecht in the Netherlands in September.
Blue Origin’s New Shepard spacecraft — which was cleared for takeoff by the FAA on Monday — is scheduled for liftoff at 9 a.m. ET on July 20.
The flight will take Bezos and company 62 miles above Earth to the edge of space. Inside the spacecraft, the passengers will have three minutes to float around and view Earth from afar or gaze into the depths of outer space.