Facepalm: If you were to hand over $ 30 million to participate in something, one might imagine that it is a pretty high priority in your journal. But the person who paid that amount to go into space with Jeff Bezos next week will not be on the spacecraft due to “scheduling conflicts.”
Bezos’ Blue Origin Company Announced that the anonymous winner, who paid $ 27.9 million for his ticket, has other plans on July 20. His replacement will be Oliver Daemen, an 18-year-old recently graduated from high school. He took a gap year in 2020 to obtain his private pilot license and plans to study physics and innovation management at the Netherlands-based University of Utrecht in September.
Daemen’s father, Joes Daemen, CEO of the Netherlands-based investment firm Somerset Capital Partners BV, paid an undisclosed sum for the ticket; Surely it would have been a significant amount. Blue Origin confirmed to Forbes that Daemen participated in the June auction.
I’m very excited to go into space, ”Daemen said in a video posted on Twitter. “I’ve dreamed of this my whole life.”
Oliver Daemen, 18, from Tilburg, was called the astronaut jongste ooit en de vierde Nederlander in de ruimte. Hij gaat mee met with de ruimtereis van #BlueOrigin pickup truck #Jeff Bezos. Oliver is in Texas, waar from lancering dinsdag plaatsvindt.https://t.co/hMsJWorRQK pic.twitter.com/5Xl3mqSAJt
– Brilliant (@Bright) July 15, 2021
Daemen will join the richest man in the world along with the brother of Amazon founder Mark Bezos on the New Shepard spacecraft. 82-year-old veteran pilot Wally Funk wants to be on board, too. The rocket will launch in West Texas next Tuesday and travel 100 kilometers above the Earth’s surface, reaching the Kármán line, recognized as the beginning of space.
“At 18 and 82, Oliver Daemen and Wally Funk represent the youngest and oldest astronauts to travel to space,” wrote Blue Origin.
The mission is expected to last only 10 minutes, three of which will be spent weightless in space. Blue Origin will fly autonomously, eliminating the need for other personnel to pilot the spacecraft, and will descend to Earth using parachutes.
Blue Origin said the original winner with the busy schedule would fly “on a future New Shepard mission,” so they will at least get their wish eventually.
In related news, the petition to prevent Bezos from returning to the planet’s surface has reached nearly 160,000 signatures.
If you want to fly to the edge of space but aren’t wealthy, Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic is hosting a giveaway in which a winner and a friend will travel about 250,000 feet in the VSS Unity, where they will experience weightlessness.