Aviation pioneer Wally Funk, oldest man to fly into space, can’t wait to return after Blue Origin launches

After sixty years of waiting for a launch from Earth, a new space traveler Wally Funk excited.

The 82-year-old aviation pioneer (and now the oldest person to ever fly into space) made a suborbital flight on Tuesday (July 20) aboard an airplane. New Shepard, a private rocket built Blue origin and funded by a billionaire Jeff Bezoswho was also in flight. Funk said the trip was “incredible.”

Funk – who tried four times unsuccessfully to join NASA’s astronaut corps and was part of Mercury 13 a group of female pilots who passed the tests of astronauts – finally flew away New Shepard’s debut space flight with crew free at the invitation of billionaire founder Jeff Bezos. She was also joined by Bezos’s brother, venture capitalist, Mark, and paying passenger and physics student Oliver Daemen.

Connected: Jeff Bezos launches Blue Origin astronaut into space

82-year-old Mercury 13 aviation pioneer Wally Funk waves to the crowd after the launch of the first manned flight of Blue Origin’s New Shepard suborbital rocket and capsule from the number one launch site near Van Horn, Texas on July 20, 2021. (Image credit: Blue Origin)

“I’ve waited a long time to finally get there,” Funk said during a post-flight briefing that was broadcast live on Tuesday from the Blue Origin launch site near Van Horn, Texas.

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