Oliver Damon, 18, is ‘excited’ to join Bezos’ journey and become the youngest person in space


“Hi, I’m Oliver Damon, and I’m joining Jeff Bezos, Mark Bezos, and Wally Funk on New Shepard’s first flight. I’m so excited to go to space and join them on the journey.”

This 18-year-old Dutch student was making headlines this week as he became a last-minute addition to Blue Origin’s first passenger flight.

Read more: The 18-year-old will be the youngest person ever to go to space when he joins Jeff Bezos on Blue Origin

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Jeff Bezos, CEO and founder of Blue Origin, is set to blast off to the edge of outer space aboard the New Shepard on Tuesday. The fully automated space capsule and rocket will carry six passengers, including his brother Bezos – and now the son of Joes Daemen, founder and CEO of Somerset Capital Partners, a private equity firm in Oisterwijk, the Netherlands.

Originally, the anonymous winner of an online charity auction secured a coveted spot alongside Bezos on the passenger list thanks to an astronomical $28 million bid. But Blue Origin revealed Thursday that this one has a “schedule conflict” with Tuesday’s launch, and will join a future flight. And so that opened up the field for Young Daemon, who was a runner-up in the Bidding War.

“I’ve been dreaming about this all my life,” Diman says. Video shared with The Wall Street Journal.

Moreover, he will make history as the youngest person to go into space if the New Shepard rocket climbs 62 miles above sea level on Tuesday.

And he won’t be the only historic passenger: New Shepard will also carry 82-year-old female pilot Mary Wallace “Wally” Funk, who is poised to break John Glenn’s record as the oldest person to go into space.

Dayman shared that he is excited to experience zero gravity, and to see the curvature of the Earth from suborbital space.

“Many thanks to the people of Blue Origin for making this happen, and making New Shepard,” he said.

Read more: Billionaire Space Race: With Jeff Bezos taking off, here’s how his journey compares to that of Richard Branson

Last weekend, Virgin Galactic

CEO Richard Branson charted a similar flight on his rocket-powered VSS Unity spaceplane. It was also VSS Unity’s first passenger flight—reaching a peak of 53.5 miles above sea level, as Branson, 70, and his passengers struggled with weightlessness and stared at the planet from above.

“The whole thing, it was just magic,” Branson said after landing.

More to track …
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