Blue Origin – New Shepard 16 Mission – First Human Flight – July 20, 2021


Liftoff is currently targeted for 8:00 am CDT / 9:00 am EDT / 13:00 UTC / 15:00 CEST.

Blue Origin’s New Shepard NS-16 flight is targeting liftoff on Tuesday, July 20, from Launch Site One in West Texas. The launch window opens at 8:00 AM CDT / 13:00 UTC. Building on the incremental and consecutive mission successes for the vehicle over the course of the program’s flight history, NS-15 is a verification step for the vehicle and operations prior to flying astronauts.

Fulfilling a lifelong mission to become an astronaut, Wally Funk will fly to space on New Shepard’s first human flight on July 20 as an honoured guest. She will join Jeff Bezos, his brother Mark Bezos, and now after resigning the flight opportunity by the auction winner who spent $28m, 18-year-old Oliver Daemen. His father also attended the bidding and the bid was now chosen. Oliver Daemen and Wally Funk represent the youngest (18 years old) and oldest (82 years old) astronauts to travel to space.

Wally’s journey to space began in the 1960s when she was the youngest graduate of the Woman in Space Program, a privately-funded project which tested female pilots for astronaut fitness. Later known as the “Mercury 13” – thirteen American women successfully underwent the same physiological and psychological screening tests as the astronauts selected by NASA for Project Mercury, but they never flew to space. Wally was the youngest graduate of this program.

She was the first female FAA inspector and first female NTSB air safety investigator. The 82-year-old pilot will now be part of the first crew on New Shepard, and the oldest person ever to fly to space.

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