Money Flight from Blue Origin: Forget Jeff Bezos, the real heroin is called Wally Funk

18:00  21 july  2021
18:00  21 july  2021 Source:   elle.fr

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This 82-year-old aviator was part of the space trip aboard the capsule designed by the billionaire company. The one that dreamed for sixty to become astronaut has thus become the oldest person to go into space.

Vol de Blue Origin : oubliez Jeff Bezos, la véritable héroïne s’appelle Wally Funk © Zuma Press / Bestimage Flight from Blue Origin: Forget Jeff Bezos, the real heroin is called Wally Funk

it is proof that when you want, we can. At age 82, Wally Funk, now the oldest person went to space , has just realized the dream of a life. This American boarded this Tuesday for eleven minutes aboard a spatial capsule made by Blue Origin, the company of the boss of Amazon, Jeff Bezos. A real fulfillment for the aviator, who spent his life with the clouds.

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Wally Funk has always dreamed of flying higher, but had to wipe sexist refusals throughout his career. In the sixties, she already participates, with thirteen other pilot women, a very rigorous and demanding program, "Mercury 13", which must determine whether women are able to perform missions in space. Wally Funk, the youngest, beats all the records, even masculine, remaining 10 hours and 35 minutes in a water tank, without seeing anything, hear or feel.

But, although these women were just as qualified as men (or sometimes more), none of them could become astronaut. The spatial output preparation program has been removed quickly after this experience.

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Any determination

video: 82 years old, Wally Funk will accompany Jeff Bezos in space (dailymotion)

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but Wally Funk clings to his dream. "I was taught that when something does not work, there is always an alternative," explained the one that, from seven years, built cork plane models.

This love of heaven and space, its real name Mary Wallace Funk, is born on February 1, 1939 in New Mexico. At age 9 only, she receives her first piloting lesson. Wally Funk confronts very quickly sexism: high school student, as a girl, she is not free to follow all the classes that interest him, such as mechanics. But already, she does not let himself be discouraged. At the age of 16, she joined the Stephens College (Missouri) from where she comes out with a driver license.

She then won a Bachelor in Science from the University of Oklahoma State, where she also receives qualifications to become a pilot, flight instructor, and trophies. Wally Funk starts his career as a professional aviator at 20 years old: she is hired as a flying instructor in Fort Sill (Oklahoma), a military camp, becoming the first woman to perform this function on an American military basis.

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pioneer at the "incredible PEPS"

Before we refuse shipments in space, even access to heaven was sometimes forbidden: Wally Funk and other qualified pilots face the negative responses of the airlines to which they postulate because of their sex.

In 1974, it is hired by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), and became the first woman to investigate aviation safety. It also becomes the first to be inspector for the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) in the United States.

Wally Funk takes hope in his dream of astronaut in 1983, when Sally Ride becomes the first American woman from space, after a wave of female hirings finally initiated by NASA in the 1970s. The Candidate aviator several times, but the engineering degree and experiences as a test driver are lacking. At the moment when it is possible for her to become a spatial shuttle pilot, she is already too old.

It is finally on July 20, 2021 that Wally Funk flew in space, after receiving the invitation of Jeff Bezos to accompany him, his brother and Oliver Daamen (a 18-year-old Dutch student, Which becomes the youngest space traveler for the first inhabited spatial flight of Blue Origin. It therefore becomes the oldest person to fly in space, exceeding John Glenn, an American who was lasting there in 1998 at the age of 77 years. Jean-François CLERVOY, SPATIONAUTY interviewed by FranceInfo , said that "there is no age theoretical limit to go into space, as long as we are apt medically ... [Wally Funk] has an incredible PEPS ".

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