18-year-old Oliver Daemen will reportedly be joining Blue Origin’s first human spaceflight with Jeff Bezos, Bezos’ brother, and an 82-year-old pilot.
On Thursday, 15 July 2021, Blue Origin announced that Oliver Daemen, an 18-year-old who graduated from high school a year ago, will reportedly become the first customer to fly on the New Shepard spacecraft. Daemen, who has been taking a gap year before starting college in the Netherlands, will reportedly make history as the youngest person to fly to space.
The announcement was made after the original winner of the auction, who reportedly put up $28 million for a seat, had to decline the offer due to scheduling conflicts. According to a statement from Blue Origin, Daemen has reportedly been working hard in the past year to obtain his private pilot’s license. He is expected to start classes in physics and innovation management at the University of Utrecht in September 2021.
Commenting on the life-changing news, Daemen said he is incredibly excited as he has been dreaming about this his whole life. Furthermore, Daemen will reportedly be joining Wally Funk, an 82-year-old astronaut, as well as the founder of Amazon and Blue Origin, Jeff Bezos and his brother, Mark Bezos.
The upcoming flight, which is scheduled to launch on Tuesday, 20 July 2021, will reportedly bring together New Shepard’s first human-crewed spaceflight. Moreover, Daemon’s father, Joes Daemon, who is the founder and CEO of a Dutch investment company called Somerset Capital Partners, reportedly secured the seat for his son on New Shepard’s second flight before the original winner cancelled. The price paid by Daemen has not been publicly revealed yet.
Lastly, the bid for the seat was reportedly $28 million. The space mission is estimated to last 11 minutes, which works out to approximately $2.545 million per minute or $42,424 per second. Blue Origin reportedly donated the money to its non-profit group, Club For The Future, which encourages science and tech education among children.