WMFE is Central Florida's primary provider of NPR programming on 90.7 FM and Classical Music on 90.7 HD2. Part of the community since 1965, WMFE focuses on providing quality national and local news and programming. We inspire and empower all Central Floridians to discover, grow and engage within and beyond their world.
Support for 90.7 WMFE is provided by

Blue Origin’s Fourth And Final Passenger Will Be Youngest To Launch To Space

Blue Origin says Oliver Daemen will be the first paying customer to fly on board New Shepard. Photo: Blue Origin


Blue Origin announced the final passenger on its first crewed space tourism mission next week to the edge of space and back. The fourth passenger will be the youngest to travel to space.

18-year-old Oliver Daemon will join Blue Origin’s founder Jeff Bezos, his brother Mark, and 82-year-old aviator Wally Funk on the suborbital mission launching July 20 from Van Horn, Texas.

The crew will ride Blue Origin’s New Shepard spacecraft past the Kármán line, the recognized bounty of space about 62 miles in altitude. The mission is a suborbital mission, meaning it will launch and fall back to Earth, slowed by parachutes.

During the mission, passengers will experience views of the Earth against the blackness of space and feel moments of weightlessness in the cabin.

Daemon graduated high school last year, and took a gap year to get his pilot’s license. According to Blue Origin, he plans to attend college at the University of Utrecht to study physics and innovation management.

“This marks the beginning of commercial operations for New Shepard, and Oliver represents a new generation of people who will help us build a road to space,” said Blue Origin’s CEO Bob Smith.

While he’s the first paying customer on Blue, he’s not the winner of a $28 million auction for the first seat. That passenger, who wishes to remain anonymous, will fly on a future mission due to scheduling conflicts.

Proceeds from the auction went to 19 non-profit space organizations, with each receiving a $1 million grant through Blue Origin’s foundation, Club for the Future.

Wally Funk will be the oldest person to travel to space, meaning the mission will take both the youngest and oldest person past the boundary of space with six decades between them.


Get The 90.7 WMFE Newsletter

Your trusted news source for the latest Central Florida news, updates on special programs and more.

GET THE LATEST
Stay tuned in to our local news coverage: Listen to 90.7 WMFE on your FM or HD radio, the WMFE mobile app or your smart speaker — say “Alexa, play NPR” and you’ll be connected.

WMFE Journalistic Ethics Code | Public Media Code of Integrity

Brendan Byrne

About Brendan Byrne

Space Reporter and 'Are We There Yet?' Host

Brendan covers space news for WMFE, everything from rocket launches to the latest scientific discoveries in our universe. He hosts WMFE's weekly radio show and podcast "Are We There Yet?" which explores human space exploration. He also helps produce WMFE's public affairs show "Intersection," working with host ... Read Full Bio »

TOP