A teenager is to become the youngest person to head into space.
18-year-old Oliver Daemen will be part of Jeff Bezos’ flight into space, after replacing an anonymous bidder, who paid £20 million (R397 634 400) in a public auction, but could not take part “due to scheduling conflicts”.
Blue Origin confirmed that the 18-year-old – who is the son of Somerset Capital Partners CEO Joes Daemen – will take the first flight, after being moved from the second flight.
He will be joined by 82-year-old Wally Funk – who will become the oldest person to go into space – as well as Jeff Bezos, founder and executive chairman of Amazon, and his brother Mark.
In a video posted on Twitter, Oliver said he was “super excited to go into space” and he admitted that he had been “dreaming about this all of his life”.
The company, Blue Origin, said in a statement: “At 18 years old and 82 years young, Oliver Daemen and Wally Funk represent the youngest and oldest astronauts to travel to space.”
Whilst Bob Smith, Blue Origin’s chief executive, added: “The winner of Blue Origin’s auction, who has asked to remain anonymous at this time, has chosen to fly on a future mission due to scheduling conflicts. We thank the auction winner for their generous support of Club for the Future and are honoured to welcome Oliver to fly with us. This marks the beginning of commercial operations and Oliver represents a new generation of people who will help us build a road to space.”