Dutch 18-year-old became the youngest astronaut ever this week
18-year-old Oliver Daemen from Brabant became the youngest astronaut ever this week after taking part in the first crewed flight by Jeff Bezos’ aerospace company, Blue Origin.
Dutch teenager and Amazon founder launch into space
Blue Origin’s New Shepard rocket took off at 3.14 pm (Dutch time) in Texas on Tuesday afternoon, achieving an altitude of over 100 kilometres and returning to the earth around 10 minutes later. The flight marked a significant milestone for Blue Origin and Bezos, serving as the first step towards the Amazon founder fulfilling his dream of launching a space tourism business.
Onboard were Bezos and his brother, Mark, as well as 82-year-old Wally Funk, and Daemen, whose father managed to secure him a spot as Blue Origin’s first paying customer and one of the world’s first space tourists. Together, Funk and Daemen are the oldest and youngest people to travel into space.
Daemen, who is from Oisterwijk, a town near Tilburg in North Brabant, thanked Bezos for the experience. “Every second of this flight was indescribably intense. The mighty effect of the G-forces on your frame, the epic moment you leave the atmosphere. The view of the earth from space is unforgettable,” the 18-year-old said in a statement.
After returning safely to earth, Bezos was quick to exclaim that it was the “best day ever!” and thanked Amazon’s customers and workers for funding the trip. “I want to thank every Amazon employee and customer," the 57-year-old said at a press conference on Tuesday. “You guys paid for all this...thank you from the bottom of my heart.”
Thumb: Mission NS-15 lifts off from Launch Site One in West Texas, via Blue Origin.