(AP) Jeff Bezos is about to soar on his space travel company’s first flight with people on board, including a former student of Stephens College flight school.
The founder of Blue Origin as well as Amazon will become the second billionaire to ride his own rocket. He’ll blast off Tuesday morning from West Texas with his brother, an 18-year-old from the Netherlands and 82-year-old female aviation pioneer Wally Funk from Texas. They’ll become the youngest and oldest ever to fly in space.
Funk studied at Stephens College flight school in Columbia and was at the top of her flight class of 24 students. She graduated in 1958, but was never accepted into the NASA program.
Blue Origin’s capsule is fully automated, so there’s no need for trained staff on the brief space hop. Virgin Galactic’s Richard Branson rocket plane needs two pilots to operate. Branson beat Bezos to space on July 11.