Wally Funk, 82, will accompany Blue Origin founder Jeff Bezos on the company’s space tour on July 20, 2021, making her the oldest to date to have the opportunity to travel to space, the company said Thursday, July 1.
Wali became the fourth passenger in the first manned flight of the company specialized in space tourism.
In the sixties of the twentieth century, Wally Funk participated in a special program called “Mercury 13”, which included 13 women who underwent the same tests as males selected in the “Mercury” program implemented by NASA to send the first American astronauts into space.
“They told me I got the job done better and faster than any man,” Wally Funk said in a video posted to Jeff Bezos’ Instagram account at the time of the announcement. “I said I wanted to be an astronaut, but no one wanted to hire me. I didn’t think I’d ever get there,” she added.
“Nobody (Qualy Funk) has waited this long,” Jeff Bezos wrote in his post. “Welcome to the crew, Wally,” he added.
Wally Funk became the first woman to hold a job as an inspector for the US Air Force, and to her record as a pilot, she has 19,600 flying hours.
July 20 was set as the date for the launch of the “New Shepard” rocket belonging to the “Blue Origin” company from a desert in West Texas, and the capsule separated from it at an altitude of about 75 km, and continued its ascent to exceed the Karman line located at an altitude of 100 km, which represents the boundary between the Earth’s atmosphere and space.
Passengers will be able to swim in zero gravity for three minutes and observe the curvature of the planet.
Meanwhile, the missile returns downward and also gently lands vertically on a runway.
Then the capsule begins a free-fall process to return to Earth, slowed down by three large parachutes and ballistic missiles before landing in the desert.
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