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20th Jul 2021

Female pilot Wally Funk to make history as oldest person to go to space

Ellen Fitzpatrick

Women are just great.

A woman in the States is setting records after becoming the oldest person ever to fly to space.

A dream come true for Mary Wallace “Wally” Funk, the 82 year old is making history as she jets off on Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin’s sub-orbital New Shepard flight.

Funk was originally denied heading off on a mission like this back in 1960s due to her gender, and now hopes to be an inspiration for other women across the world.

The pilot come astronaut is set to join Bezos on the flight which is set to launch to the edge of space today, leaving its base in Texas.

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The pair will be joined by the Amazon billionaire’s brother Mark Bezos and an 18 year old Dutch student Oliver Daemen, who is making history as the youngest person to go to space.

Speaking to CBS, the Amazon founder said: “If the vehicle is not safe for me, it is not safe for anyone.”

Funk was given her invite to the flight directly from Bezos himself and it’s set to take only ten minutes to get there.

The flight will see the spacecraft head above the Earth’s atmosphere and give the passangers a chance to leave their seats and float within the cabin before coming back to Earth and arriving in a Texas desert by parachute.

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Funk is taking the title of oldest person in space from John Glenn, who flew on the Space Shuttle flight at the age of 77 back in 1998.

Funk took her first flying lesson when she was only nine years old, according to the Amelia Earhart Hanger Museum.

She then went on to get her full pilots license at only age 20 and at 21 she was part of the Mercury 13, the 13 women who had passed NASA’s astronaut training in the 60s and witnessed the first ever flights to space in 1961 and 1963.