Wally Funk is going to be joining Jeff Bezos, his brother Mark and a still unidentified fourth passenger. Meet the 82-year-old Aerospace pioneer.
In the Amazon billionaire’s Blue Origin spaceflight, billionaire Jeff Bezos announced the arrival of an “honoured guest” onboard the space mission. Bezos wrote in his social media post, “No one has waited longer.” Funk was a member of the group of women astronauts who were denied their place in space because of their gender. The aerospace veteran has waited for 60 years to earn her rightful position in space.
Why is Funk said to have ‘waited for the longest’?
While sharing her experience, Wally Funk said that she got held by NASA four times. Funk added that she wanted to be an astronaut but nobody would take her. She also said, “I didn’t think that I would ever get to go up.”
Funk, after she joins Jeff Bezos on July 20, will break the record of being the oldest person in space which is currently held by astronaut John Glenn who was 77-years-old at the time he went into space in 1998, per NASA.
Bezos shared a video on his Instagram handle with Wally Funk and wrote that the veteran has been “flying forever” and had 19600 hours of flying experience to her name.
Wally Funk said, when denied a position for being a girl -“I like to do things that nobody‚Äôs ever done.”
Who is Wally Funk?
- Mary Wallace Funk is an American aviator and Goodwill Ambassador. She has numerous records of being the pioneer in her field.
- Funk is the first female air safety investigator for the National Transportation Safety Board. She is also the first female civilian flight instructor at Fort Sill, Oklahoma.
- Funk was interested in planes from a very young age. She also liked mechanics and built model airplanes and ships. Funk shared that her mother saying that Funk is going to “fly”.
- At the young age of 14, she became interested in marksmanship and won the Distinguished Rifleman’s Award. Later she earned her graduation with a pilot’s license and an Associate of Arts degree.
- Funk volunteered for the “Women in Space” Program. The program was supported by NASA and was led by William Lovelace. The project lacked government sponsorship and was cancelled later.
- But Funk’s performance on the ” Women in Space” training was exceptional. According to reports, she even scored better than John Glenn on some tests. She also has the record of being in the tank without hallucinating, for 10 hours and 35 minutes.
- Her life story was filmed for the Traveling Space Museum.