Wally Funk Wiki
Wally Funk Biography
Who was Wally Funk?
An 82-year-old woman who has spent six decades trying to get to space will join Jeff Bezos on his space company’s first human flight later this month.
Wally Funk, who trained in the 1960s, will become the oldest person to fly into space.
Bezos invited Funk as “guest of honor” and shared a video on Instagram of him telling her the news.
She will be joined by the founder of Amazon, her brother Mark hers and a mystery person who paid $ 28 million (£ 20 million) at auction for a seat.
The company plans to launch its passengers more than 100 km (62 miles) above the Earth’s surface, allowing them to experience microgravity.
The capsule will then return to Earth using parachutes on a journey that is expected to take about 10 minutes.
In a two-minute clip posted online, Bezos is seen telling Funk that she has been chosen for the trip.
“I didn’t think I could go up,” she says in the video.
Born in New Mexico in 1939, Wally Funk says she has had a love for aviation throughout her life.
She has logged 19,600 flight hours throughout her career and has taught about 3,000 people to fly.
The 82-year-old has made history multiple times already: She served as the first aviation safety investigator for the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) and the first woman to be an inspector for the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) in the U.S.
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Funk volunteered in 1961 for the Women in Space program, where she underwent rigorous physical and mental tests in hopes of becoming an astronaut.
But the plan was later abruptly canceled and she and the other women, collectively known as Mercury 13, never made it to space with NASA.
Undated black and white image showing Wally Funk next to a US Air Force plane.
PICTURE COPYRIGHTWALLY FUNK THROUGH BLUE SOURCE
image caption “No one has expected more,” Bezos wrote about Funk (pictured) in her post.
Ms Funk previously spent $ 200,000 (£ 145,000) in 2010 on a ticket to Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic program, which recently got FAA approval to start taking paying customers on their own rocket missions.
“I can’t tell people how fabulous I feel to have been chosen by Blue Origin for this trip,” Ms Funk says in the video, adding that she hopes to “love every second” of the trip.
Jeff Bezos is one of the richest people in the world.
He created Blue Origin in 2000 and announced last month that he and his brother would be boarding the flight; he described it as something he had wanted to do “all my life”.