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Just over a week after Richard Branson flew to the edge of space, fellow billionaire Jeff Bezos is set for a similarly high-stakes trip aboard his own rocket.
Bezos will attempt to fly to space on Tuesday, July 20, launching aboard a rocket and capsule developed by Blue Origin, the Amazon founder’s private space company. It will be the first crewed launch for Blue Origin’s New Shepard rocket, and if successful, Bezos will make history for taking part in the first unpiloted suborbital flight with a civilian crew.
Several other milestones may be set on the trip. Joining Bezos will be one passenger who stands to become the oldest person to reach space and another who would be the youngest.
Wally Funk, 82, is a former test pilot who was one of the Mercury 13 women who underwent training in the 1960s to demonstrate that women could meet NASA’s standards for its astronaut corps. At 18, the Dutch teenager Oliver Daemen could become the youngest astronaut. Rounding out the four-person crew is Bezos’ brother, Mark.