Jeff Bezos and his brother will have an 18-year-old accompanying them to space on the billionaire’s Blue Origin space rocket on July 20. Enter Oliver Daemen, the first paying customer to book a seat on the New Shepard rocket through the Blue Origin auction. Daemen booked his ‘seat’ amongst the chosen few, courtesy his dad Joes Daemen, the CEO of hedge fund Somerset Capital Partners.
Oliver got the chance to fly to space on the Blue Origin space flight with Bezos because of a twist of fate. Blue Origin had auctioned off the seat to someone else for $28 million, whose identity is still unknown, but due to scheduling conflicts the person has chosen to fly on a future New Shepard mission, as per a blog post by Blue Origin. So, the seat went to the runner up, who happens to be Oliver’s father. How much his father had to pay for the seat has not been disclosed by Blue Origin, as per a report by The Verge.
When the rocket lifts off into space, Oliver will become the youngest person to ever fly to space. Also travelling with the trio on July 20 will be 82-years old Wally Funk, thus rounding up a unique crew made up of the youngest and the oldest person to fly to space ever and that too in the same flight.
“Flying on New Shepard will fulfill a lifelong dream for Oliver, who has been fascinated by space, the Moon, and rockets since he was four. Oliver graduated from high school in 2020 and took a gap year before continuing his studies to obtain his private pilot’s license. This September, Oliver will attend the University of Utrecht to study physics and innovation management.”, said the blogpost by Blue Origin.
The Blue Origin spaceflight is set to go beyond the Kármán line (62 miles), the boundary that officially marks the entry into space, something which Virgin Galactic’s space mission has not gone past, keeping its altitude below the line.