It’s called Wally Funk. She is a pioneer in her field. However, gender-related reasons prevented an old goal from being achieved. 60 years ago she was one of the “Mercury 13”, the first women to be trained by the US space agency NASA. They were supposed to fly into space between 1960 and 1961. Now she will. Wally Funk is the 82-year-old pilot who will become an astronaut.
He will accompany billionaire Jeff Bezos. It will be Blue Origin’s first manned space flight on July 20th. She still remembers the time when it was wrongly postponed.
“They told me I do the job better and faster than any of the men.” Funk tells this in a video that was posted on Bezos’ Instagram account on the occasion of the announcement. I said I want to be an astronaut. But nobody wanted to take me with them. I didn’t think I’d ever go there, “he said.” Nobody has waited that long, “wrote Bezos. Welcome to the crew, Wally.
Funk was also the first female inspector for the FAA. You will become the oldest person to go into space. He will soon be traveling aboard the New Shepard launcher with Bezos and his brother Mark. She is also accompanied by an unknown auction winner who paid $ 28 million for the seat.
The launch is scheduled on a special date. It is the 52nd anniversary of the Apollo moon landing in 1969.
Out into space
Blue Origin’s New Shepard missile will launch in a Texas desert. A 10-minute drive is planned. During four of them, passengers will cross the Karman Line. It is the one that marks the beginning of space internationally, 100 km above the earth. The passengers can then float in weightlessness for a few minutes. There they will observe the curvature of the earth.
Blue Origin’s first manned flight takes place against the backdrop of fierce competition. Richard Branson also competes in private space exploration. And as if that wasn’t enough, there’s Elon Musk’s SpaceX. But it doesn’t matter to the 82-year-old pilot who will become an astronaut. She wants to end part of this long-awaited journey that was once rejected by NASA.