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First Crewed Flight Announced by Blue Origin

With its four passengers, first crewed Blue Origin trip will be transporting several superlatives to space. Not only will the world’s richest man, and Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, be aboard the New Shepard crew capsule, but so will the oldest person to ever journey to space, 82-year-old aeronautics pioneer Wally Funk, and the youngest, an 18-year-old student from the Netherlands named Oliver Daemen.

The final passenger on the historic expedition, Daemen, was announced on Thursday (Bezos’ brother Mark will also be onboard). According to a release, the aspiring pilot will be Blue Origin first paying customer, but she is not the winner of a $28 million auction for the privilege. According to a spokeswoman, Daemen was a participant in the auction who had acquired a seat on the second flight and was then pushed up when the high bidder was unable to fly Tuesday.

Daemen will graduate from high school in 2020 and study physics and innovation management at the Dutch University of Utrecht. He is the son of Joe Daemen, the founder of the hedge fund Daemen Capital Management, who appears to be giving his son an incredible graduation present.

The statement reads, “The winner of Blue Origin auction, who has asked to remain anonymous at this time, has chosen to fly on a future New Shepard mission due to scheduling conflicts.” Blue Origin nonprofit foundation, Club for the Future, announced Wednesday that $19 million from the auction proceeds would be donated to 19 space and education groups, including the Mars Society, Planetary Society, Space Camp, and Teachers in Space. The Blue Origin mission will be live-streamed on Tuesday, and you can find all the details here.

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