Jeff Bezos picks female aerospace pioneer to launch with him – News Vibe24

    Jeff Bezos picks female aerospace pioneer to launch with him - Times of India
    CAPE CANAVERAL: Sixty years after the astronaut tests but was ruled out because she was a woman, Wally Funk will fly into space with Jeff Bezos in just three weeks.
    Bezos-based Blue Origin announced Thursday that the pioneering pilot will embark on the July 20 launch from West Texas, flying into the capsule as an “honored visitor.” He will participate in Bezos, his brother and the winner of a $ 28 million charity auction, as the first to launch a New Shepard rocket.
    At 82, he will be the oldest person to start in space.
    Funk was the youngest of the so-called Mercury 13 women to undergo astronaut tests in the early 1960s, but never reached space – or even the body of NASA astronauts – because they were women. At the time, all NASA astronauts were male military test pilots.
    Funk said he feels “wonderful” to finally get a chance to go into space.
    “I will love every second. Wow! Ha-ha. I can’t wait,” Funk said in an Instagram video posted by Bezos.
    “Nothing ever stopped me,” he added. “They said, ‘Well, you’re a girl, you can’t do that.’ “I said, ‘Guess what, it doesn’t matter what you are. You can do it even if you want to do it and I like to do things that no one has ever done before.’
    In a cosmic twist, she will defeat the late John Glenn, who set a record at the age of 77 when he flew the Discovery space shuttle in 1998. Glenn came up with the idea of ​​women flying in space, shortly after becoming the first American to orbit around the world in 1962.
    “Nobody expected more,” Bezos said via Instagram. “The time has come. Welcome to the crew, Wally.”
    The founder of Amazon resigned from the CEO of the company on Monday.
    The upcoming release – which follows 15 successful test flights – will open the door to paying customers. Blue Origin has not yet announced ticket prices or when the public can enter the spacious six-seater, which reaches an altitude of about 65 miles, just beyond the edge of the space. Flights up and down take 10 minutes.
    The reusable rocket was named after Mercury astronaut Alan Shepard, the first American in space, and July 20 marks the 52nd anniversary of the landing of Apollo 11.
    Funk, who lives near Dallas, was the first female Federal Aviation Inspector and the first female aviation security researcher for the National Transportation Safety Council. In the published video, he said he has 19,600 flight hours and has taught more than 3,000 people to fly.
    She was among two dozen female pilots who underwent six days of rigorous physical examinations – the same as those given to candidate Mercury astronauts – in 1960 and 1961. The doctor who tested Mercury 7’s men had heard that the Soviets were planning to send a woman space and wanted to see if women could withstand the effects of weight loss.
    Candidates had to spend hours in a waterproofing tank, swallow a hose and stick needles in their heads, among other things.
    Thirteen of the women – including Funk – passed. But the program was abruptly canceled and the Soviets continued to launch the first woman into space – Valentina Tereskova – in 1963.
    “I was told I did better and got the job done faster than any of the kids,” Funk recalled. “So I caught NASA four times. I said I wanted to be an astronaut, but no one would take me. I did not think I would ever climb.”
    It was not until 1983 that the first American woman ascended into space – Sally Ride, who died in 2012. And it was not until 1995 that an American woman piloted a spaceship – Eileen Collins on the Discovery bus. for this launch.
    Preferring to reach space, Funk booked Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic rocket years ago. Remains on the passenger list. The company is planning three more test flights from New Mexico, one with Branson on board, before launching customers.
    In the video, Bezos describes to Funk how the four Blue Origin passengers will experience zero gravity for a few minutes, then gently land on the desert surface and open the hatch.
    “You go out. What is the first thing you say?” he asked her.
    “I will say, ‘Honey, this was the best thing that ever happened to me!’ “Funk responded, embracing Bezos in a big hug.
    The Associated Press Department of Health and Science receives support from the Department of Education Science at Howard Hughes Medical Institute. AP is solely responsible for all content.


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