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Yahoo Finance 22 July, 2021 - 05:52am 44 views

Did Bezos go to space?

Jeff Bezos, the richest human in the world, went to space on Tuesday. It was a brief jaunt — rising 60-some miles into the sky above West Texas — in a spacecraft that was built by Mr. Bezos' rocket company, Blue Origin. The New York Times‘Best Day Ever’: Highlights From Bezos and Blue Origin Crew’s Short Flight to Space

Why did Jeff Bezos go to space?

Updated at 1:45 p.m. ET on July 20, 2021. VAN HORN, Texas—Jeff Bezos really flew to space. ... By going first, Bezos wanted to prove that his vehicle is safe, and that Blue Origin is finally ready to make its 11-minute suborbital trips an experience people can buy. The journey was lightning-fast by spaceflight standards. The AtlanticJeff Bezos Really Flew to Space

Who are going to space with Jeff Bezos?

Billionaire Jeff Bezos has made a short journey to space, in the first crewed flight of his rocket ship, New Shepard. He was accompanied by Mark Bezos, his brother, Wally Funk, an 82-year-old pioneer of the space race, and an 18-year-old student. BBC NewsJeff Bezos launches to space aboard New Shepard rocket ship

She earned top aviation ratings in college, was a professional certified pilot and became the first female civilian flight instructor at a U.S. military base — all at a time when women were systematically barred from many parts of life.

For Funk, all of it was in service of fulfilling one mission: becoming one of the first female astronauts. In 1961, the aviation whiz caught a break when, despite being under the required age of 24, she became the youngest of the so-called Mercury 13 women, who underwent testing to demonstrate that women could qualify for NASA's astronaut corps.

But because she was a woman, Funk's dreams of flying into space never came to fruition.

The crew launched at around 9:11 a.m. ET from a site in the west Texas desert southeast of El Paso. After liftoff, the New Shepard rocket accelerated toward space at three times the speed of sound.

At an altitude of 250,000 feet, the capsule separated, taking Funk, Bezos, his brother, Mark, and Oliver Daemen, 18, of the Netherlands, to the edge of space. The craft then descended under parachutes and landed in the Texas desert for a total flight time of roughly 10 minutes.

The much-anticipated trip marked a number of milestones, including the first unpiloted suborbital flight with an all-civilian crew, the first crewed launch for Blue Origin's New Shepard rocket, and Daemen becoming the youngest person to reach space.

Funk, no stranger to breaking records, also made history as the oldest astronaut when she emerged from the spacecraft after landing, with a big grin and arms opened wide, a look of pure elation.

"I saw darkness, I thought I was going to see the world, but we weren't quite high enough," she said during a post-launch news conference Tuesday. "And I felt great. I felt like I was just lying down, just lying down — and I was going into space."

She described feelings of gratitude for finally seeing her long-delayed dream come to life.

"I've done a lot of astronaut training through the world, Russia, America, and I could always beat the guys on what they were doing because I was always stronger, and I have always done everything on my own," she said.

Indeed, Funk excelled across the board in every test she was given while participating in NASA's 1961 Women In Space Program — sometimes even surpassing the men who were selected for the counter astronaut program at the time. During one test, Funk was placed in a sensory deprivation tank where she remained for more than 10 hours before the researchers finally brought her out because they wanted to go home.

With more than 19,500 flying hours under her belt, Funk also likely has more time in the air than the three crewmen who joined her in space combined.

The historic launch occurred just nine days after British billionaire Richard Branson flew to the edge of space on a rocket-powered vehicle designed by his own space tourism company, Virgin Galactic. Both flights — combined with the competition between the rival billionaires — have captured global attention and garnered interest and enthusiasm for the nascent space tourism industry.

While some have criticized Bezos and Branson for their private spaceflight aspirations, many people, including elected officials, sports and media professionals, congratulated Wally on fulfilling her lifelong aspiration.

"Wally Funk is now on my list of people that I would most like to meet in this country," White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Tuesday. "She's America's sweetheart."

"This morning Wally Funk, age 82, who once trained to be an astronaut in the 1960s as one of the Mercury 13, became the oldest person ever to fly to space," Billie Jean King, the celebrated former American pro tennis champion, tweeted. "A success story 50+ years in the making."

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott also tweeted: "Texas breeds innovation. Congratulations @blueorigin and Texas' own Wally Funk on their historic first human spaceflight - launched right here in the Lone Star State!"

In her closing remarks after landing, Funk added: "I've been waiting a long time to finally getting up there."

"I loved it," she said. "I want to go again, fast!"

Read full article at Yahoo Finance

82-year-old woman set to become oldest US astronaut l GMA

Good Morning America 22 July, 2021 - 06:10am

Wally Funk thanks Bezos after space flight

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Moment Blue Origin rocket achieves zero gravity

The National News 22 July, 2021 - 06:10am

Wally Funk Becomes World's Oldest Astronaut

Statista 22 July, 2021 - 06:10am

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After becoming the first American to orbit the Earth in 1962, Glenn retired as an astronaut and became a senator for a number of years. The famed astronaut returned to space in October 1998 when he took part in a mission onboard the Space Shuttle Discovery at the age of 77. Franklin Story Musgrave is the only astronaut to have flown onboard all five Space Shuttles and he is the third-oldest person to make it into space thanks to a 1996 flight onboard the Shuttle Columbia, according to website oldest.com.

This chart shows the age of the oldest astronauts when they were launched into space.

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Wally Funk fulfills lifelong dream with Blue Origin spaceflight

CBS Evening News 22 July, 2021 - 06:10am

Pioneering female aviator Wally Funk is 'America's new sweetheart'

Reuters 22 July, 2021 - 06:10am

July 20 (Reuters) - Wally Funk became the oldest person to reach space on Tuesday - some 60 years after first undergoing astronaut training.

Funk was one of the so-called Mercury 13 group of women who trained to become NASA astronauts in the 1960s but was passed over because of her gender.

On Tuesday, at the age of 82, she was one of Jeff Bezos' three co-passengers aboard his company Blue Origin's New Shepard launch vehicle to take a historic suborbital flight.

"I've been waiting a long time," Funk said afterward. "I want to go again - fast."

Her flight has earned Funk a new generation of admirers on social media, and beyond.

"Wally Funk is now on my list of people that I would most like to meet in the country. She is America's new sweetheart," White House spokesperson Jen Psaki told reporters.

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The head of United Airlines (UAL.O) expects a recovery in travel demand to continue despite a resurgence in COVID-19 spurred by the more contagious Delta variant but warned on Wednesday of vagaries until more people are vaccinated against the virus.

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