An 18-year-old will fly to space with Jeff Bezos next week — becoming the youngest ever to launch

Blue Origin announced today that the fourth member of the NS-16 crew will be an 18-year-old from the Netherlands who bought a ticket on the New Shepard rocket.

Blue Origin announced that the winner of the $28 million auction won’t be able to fly with Jeff Bezos due to a scheduling conflict, but a new ticket holder was selected. Oliver Daemen, the new crewmember, will be the youngest person to go to space at only 18.

Daemen, a recent high school graduate, has been fascinated by space since he was 4 and will now achieve his dream of flying to space. No details have been given about how he was chosen but his selection will make NS-16 the mission to send both the oldest person, Wally Funk at 82, and the youngest people to space.

“We thank the auction winner for their generous support of Club for the Future and are honored to welcome Oliver to fly with us on New Shepard. 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.” ~ Bob Smith, CEO of Blue Origin

Currently, Daemen is working on his private pilot’s license before attending the University of Utrecht to study physics and innovation management. He will join Jeff Bezos, Mark Bezos, and Wally Funk in Texas for the NS-16 launch on July 20th.

Blue Origin explains how he got the seat

A Blue Origin spokesperson spoke with CNBC about how Daemen was selected to become NS-16’s crew member. Daemen, and his father Joes Daemen who is the CEO of Somerset Capital Partners, were participants in the auction. While they did not win the first seat they did secure a seat on the second flight, an unknown to the public possibility. Blue Origin decided to move him up after the auction winner was not able to fly in time.


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