VAN HORN, Texas – At 82 years old, Wally Funk became the oldest person to fly to space on Tuesday.
Funk was one of four crew members to take a trip to space on Amazon founder Jeff Bezos’ New Shepard vehicle. The flight marked Blue Origin’s first human flight to space, making way for civilians to travel to space.
Funk was originally chosen in 1959 for the “Mercury 13” mission to train women to travel to space. She was at the top of her class but despite completing the training, she and the other members of the program never flew to space.
“Despite completing their training, the program was canceled, and none of the 13 flew,” Bezos said.
Funk said in the video she has 19,600 flying hours under her belt, has taught more than 3,000 people to fly and said that “everything the FAA has, I’ve got the license for.”
She was also the first female FAA inspector and the first female NTSB air safety investigator, according to a Blue Origin news release.
“I’ve been waiting a long time to finally get it up there,” Funk said.
“I want to go again — fast,” she added.
Four hours after their flight, Bezos drove his crew over to see the rocket that carried them safely to space. “Can’t believe we did it,” Funk said.
The Associated Press contributed to this story.
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