18-year-old customer on Jeff Bezos' Blue Origin rocket to be youngest person ever in space

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NBC News 16 July, 2021 - 05:14am 39 views

Did Jeff Bezos go to space?

After Sir Richard Branson's successful space flight last week he won't be the first billionaire in space, but the journey of Jeff Bezos into space just nine days later is sure to stoke the imagination of many wannabe “space tourists.” ForbesJeff Bezos In Space: When And Where You Can Watch The Billionaire Take An 11-Minute Trip To The Edge Of Space

Who is Oliver daemon?

Mr Daemen is CEO and founder of hedgefund Somerset Capitol Partners, which says he founded in 2009 to combine his background in real estate investing, financial markets and private equity. Which checks out. The IndependentMeet Oliver Daemen: The millionaire’s son, 18, is going to space with Jeff Bezos but only follows Elon Musk

Blue Origin announced Thursday 18-year-old Oliver Daemen will fly aboard the New Shepard vessel during its first human space flight July 20.

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The newest space race features billionaires who are investing in commercial space tourism. USA TODAY

Jeff Bezos' first trip to space will now include both the youngest and oldest people ever to take flight.

The Amazon founder's aerospace company, Blue Origin, announced Thursday that 18-year-old Oliver Daemen will fly aboard the vessel New Shepard on its first human space flight, scheduled for July 20.  

The winner of the auction for a seat aboard New Shepard has decided to postpone his trip to space next week because of scheduling conflicts, Blue Origin said. The bidder, who has asked to remain anonymous, will fly on a future New Shepard mission, the company said.

Last month, Blue Origin announced the bidder won a flight aboard New Shepard, which will also carry Bezos and his brother, Mark, for $28 million. The proceeds from the auction go toward the foundation Club for the Future, which is aimed at inspiring future generations to pursue careers in STEM.

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"We thank the auction winner for their generous support of Club for the Future and are honored to welcome Oliver to fly with us on New Shepard," Bob Smith, CEO of Blue Origin, said in a statement Thursday.

Also joining the flight is 82-year-old Wally Funk, a female aviator who pushed for inclusion in NASA's astronaut training program.

July 20 will be the 52nd anniversary of the 1969 Apollo moon landing by Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin. Earlier this week, the Federal Aviation Administration granted approval for the flight.

© 2021 USA TODAY, a division of Gannett Satellite Information Network, LLC.

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Jeff Bezos Goes to Space on July 20

Bloomberg Technology 16 July, 2021 - 06:00am

Irish Times view on the new space race: breaking the bonds of Earth

The Irish Times 16 July, 2021 - 06:00am

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On Sunday morning, a small rocket plane, VSS Unity, operated by Branson’s Virgin Galactic, carried him and five others up 86 km to the edge of space and then glided back down to land. Out of the atmosphere, but not high enough or fast enough to enter orbit; it was “space” according to Nasa, but 12 km short of real space according to other begrudgers in the space business.

The world’s richest man, Jeff Bezos, also has his own rocket company, and plans a similar jaunt on July 20th. “It really wasn’t a race,” Branson insisted of his own venture . “We wish Jeff the absolute best.” Who was he kidding?

Branson has a penchant for pursuits like skydiving and hot-air ballooning and presented the trip as an adventure, the realisation of a boyhood dream. It may have been that, but it was also a hardheaded business venture to prove the viability, technical and commercial, of mass tourism in space – 600 customers of Virgin Galactic have each already paid $200,000 or more for as-yet unscheduled tickets to do the same. Others have been offering trips to the international space station but at a price of over €50 million a head.

In a report in 2019 Swiss bank UBS predicted, however, that within a decade high-speed travel via outer space will represent an annual market of at least $20 billion and be competitive with long-distance airline flights, while space tourism alone will be a $3 billion market. And businesses like Blue Origin, Virgin Galactic, Orion Span, SpaceX, SNC, OneWeb and Boeing are pouring enormous resources into space ventures from communications to solar energy, reusable rockets, asteroid mining and space tourism. Near-Earth asteroid mining is forecast to become a multi-trillion dollar industry.

Musk, founder of SpaceX, claims that it should shortly be possible to fly 100 passengers at a go anywhere in the world in less than an hour in reusable spacecraft for the price of a commercial airline ticket. SpaceX is involved in sending hundreds of small satellites into orbit to extend global communications coverage.

Space travel and its exploitation is the final frontier. In the words of arch-colonialist Cecil Rhodes back as 1902: “The world is nearly all parcelled out, and what there is left of it is being divided up, conquered and colonised. To think of these stars that you see overhead at night, these vast worlds which we can never reach. I would annex the planets if I could; I often think of that. It makes me sad to see them so clear and yet so far.”

The person who paid $28 million to go to space with Jeff Bezos can't make it next week

Yahoo News 16 July, 2021 - 06:00am

Blue Origin announced Thursday that Oliver Daemen, an 18-year-old from the Netherlands, will accompany Bezos on his upcoming spaceflight, The Washington Post reports. Previously, Bezos' company Blue Origin auctioned off a seat on the July 20 flight for $28 million.

But the company revealed Thursday this auction winner has "scheduling conflicts," so they've "chosen to fly on a future New Shepard mission." Also joining the flight on Blue Origin's New Shepard rocket will be Bezos' brother, Mark Bezos, as well as 82-year-old Wally Funk, and Blue Origin said Daemen and Funk will be "the youngest and oldest astronauts to travel to space" ever.

"I am super excited to go to space and joining them on the flight," Daemen said, per The Verge. "I've been dreaming about this all my life, and I will become the youngest astronaut ever, because I'm 18 years old."

Daemen had also participated in the auction and "had secured a seat on the second flight," but he was moved up when the seat on the first one became available, a spokesperson told the Post.

Bezos announced last month he'd be headed to space on this brief flight, explaining that it's something he's "wanted to do all my life," though billionaire Richard Branson ended up beating him to the punch with a successful flight on Sunday.

The first paying Blue Origin customer is Oliver Daemen — the youngest person ever to fly to space.

The mystery of who will occupy the final seat on Blue Origin's debut human spaceflight next week is a mystery no longer: The company revealed today that the winning bidder who forked over $28 million for the privilege is actually going to fly on a later mission, and instead the final seat on the debut flight will go to Oliver Daemen, an 18-year-old high school graduate bound for the University of Utrecht. Blue Origin is planning to fly its founder Jeff Bezos to space in just a few days, on July 20, on its debut human spaceflight.

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Buyer of $28m Blue Origin space ticket has a scheduling conflict – so this teen will go instead

The Register 16 July, 2021 - 01:27am

A Dutch 18-year-old is set to be the youngest person to go into space after securing at the last minute a seat on Blue Origin’s first commercial spaceflight.

Oliver Daemen will ride atop the aerospace upstart's New Shepard rocket, which is expected to launch on July 20. And he’ll have Blue Origin supremo Jeff Bezos, Bezos’ younger brother Mark, and Wally Funk, a member of the Mercury 13 group, for company on the journey. If all goes well, the lad will be the youngest person to fly to space, and 82-years-old Funk will be the oldest.

"I am super excited to go into space," Daemen said in a video shared on Twitter. "I've been dreaming about this all my life. Now I'll become the youngest astronaut ever because I'm 18 years old."

De 18-jarige Oliver Daemen uit Tilburg wordt de jongste astronaut ooit en de vierde Nederlander in de ruimte. Hij gaat mee met de ruimtereis van #BlueOrigin van #JeffBezos. Oliver is onderweg naar Texas, waar de lancering dinsdag plaatsvindt.https://t.co/hMsJWorRQK pic.twitter.com/5Xl3mqSAJt

Believe it or not, the anonymous moneybags who bid $28m for a ticket on the same flight dropped out due to “scheduling conflicts,” and will go up in a later trip.

The runner-up of the auction – Joes Daemen – was offered and took the opportunity to bag the now vacant place, though opted to give the ticket to his son, Oliver. The bid amount was not disclosed.

Daemen is the CEO of Somerset Capital Partners, a private-equity investment firm in the Netherlands, according to Dutch news channel RTL Nieuws.

At least some of the money from the auction will go to Blue Origin’s non-profit firm Club for the Future, which will donate $1m to 19 charities. “We thank the auction winner for their generous support of Club for the Future and are honored to welcome Oliver to fly with us on New Shepard,” Bob Smith, CEO of Blue Origin, said in a statement.

“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.”

Oliver graduated from high school last year, and has taken a gap year to pursue a private pilot’s license. He was accepted into the University of Utrecht to study physics and innovation management, and is said to have been fascinated by space, the Moon, and rockets since he was four.

Bezos and the gang won’t be in space for long; they’re only going a smidgen beyond the Kármán line, the 100km or 62-mile point above sea level, before coming straight back to terra firma. The whole journey is expected to last only ten minutes or so. ®

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