The fourth passenger
A pioneer who couldn't get access to space
Knocking on the doors of NASA
Bezos grants Wally Funk her wish
Heading for the unknown
Astronaut for millions of dollars
Bidding started at 4.8 million dollars
$28 million to go to space
Their identity is secret (for now)
What do we know about the millionaire astronaut?
More than 62 miles high
How long in space?
Why does Bezos want to go on July 20?
Landing with parachute
The dangers of space exploration
Companies fight over the conquest of space
Branson is suddenly going too... and earlier!
Musk and the explosion
2022: heading to Mars
Bezos seems to be ahead
Space as a business
Colonies on the moon and Mars
A new frontier
Jeff Bezos' spaceflight includes Wally Funk, 82. But who's the other mysterious passenger?
(1/23)
The fourth passenger

Jeff Bezos' imminent trip to space will (for the moment) have four passengers: Bezos and his brother, an anonymous millionaire who bought a ticket by auction, and... Wally Funk, an 82-year-old woman who has spent her life fighting to become an astronaut.

Jeff Bezos' spaceflight includes Wally Funk, 82. But who's the other mysterious passenger?
(2/23)
A pioneer who couldn't get access to space

Mary Wallace Funk, from the state of New Mexico, participated in Mercury 13, a project set up by NASA in 1961 to try and get women into the space race. The US government vetoed this project, though, and the aspiring female astronauts took the matter to Congress. Losing the battle in Congress, these women - including Wally Funk - stayed on the ground.

Jeff Bezos' spaceflight includes Wally Funk, 82. But who's the other mysterious passenger?
(3/23)
Knocking on the doors of NASA

Wally Funk persevered in her wish to be an astronaut. She asked NASA to recruit her for a mission on several occasions but received no response. Funk says she was also willing to pay for a trip to space with Virgin, the competitor of Bezos' Blue Origin project, but that might not have been possible in her lifetime.

Jeff Bezos' spaceflight includes Wally Funk, 82. But who's the other mysterious passenger?
(4/23)
Bezos grants Wally Funk her wish

Now, at last, Wally's chance has come. Jeff Bezos has recruited her as his spaceflight companion. "No one has waited longer than her," he says. The CEO of Blue Origin (and former CEO / founder of Amazon) shared images of his meeting with Wally Funk on Instagram. They portray the pure joy of the oldest astronaut, finally getting to make that long-anticipated flight.

Jeff Bezos' spaceflight includes Wally Funk, 82. But who's the other mysterious passenger?
(5/23)
Heading for the unknown

Recruiting Wally Funk is part of Bezos' propaganda strategy, just like hiding the identity of the person who paid millions to secure a seat on the spacecraft. Bezos's journey from the same place in Cape Canaveral where many others have taken off before, is an important showcase for new investors' and the general public's impression of the company.

(Image: Space X / Unsplash)

Jeff Bezos' spaceflight includes Wally Funk, 82. But who's the other mysterious passenger?
(6/23)
Astronaut for millions of dollars

While a space walk like the one in the photo is not part of the deal, it will definitely be a historical journey to the stars. On July 20, Jeff Bezos' Blue Origin company will send its capsule into space with Bezos himself and his brother Mark in it. We now know that Wally Funk is another astronaut in the capsule. But who is the anonymous buyer who paid for seat 3, and how many millions did he pay?

(Image: Niketh Vellanki / Unsplash)

Jeff Bezos' spaceflight includes Wally Funk, 82. But who's the other mysterious passenger?
(7/23)
Bidding started at 4.8 million dollars

There were 7,000 offers for the seat from more than 150 countries. The bidding started with a price of 4.8 million dollars. Within four minutes and after a dizzying rise in the offers (five million, six, ten...), the final sum was reached.

Jeff Bezos' spaceflight includes Wally Funk, 82. But who's the other mysterious passenger?
(8/23)
$28 million to go to space

The person who won the auction will pay 28 million dollars to fly into space.

(Image: Guillermo Feria / Unsplash)

Jeff Bezos' spaceflight includes Wally Funk, 82. But who's the other mysterious passenger?
(9/23)
Their identity is secret (for now)

At the moment, the name of the fourth passenger in Bezos' spaceship has not been released. In a couple of weeks, though, this Blue Origin astronaut will surely be introduced to the public.

Jeff Bezos' spaceflight includes Wally Funk, 82. But who's the other mysterious passenger?
(10/23)
What do we know about the millionaire astronaut?

The passenger has to weigh between 50 and 101 kilos (110-222 lb) and be able to last 90 minutes without going to the bathroom. These two characteristics are essential for the astronaut's safety. The spacecraft cannot stop for the space travellers to meet their basic needs.

 

Jeff Bezos' spaceflight includes Wally Funk, 82. But who's the other mysterious passenger?
(11/23)
More than 62 miles high

Jeff Bezos' ship will go further than 100 kilometers (62 miles) in height. It will enter that territory where you can see the curve of the world and gravity ceases to exist.

(Image: Action Vance / Unsplash)

Jeff Bezos' spaceflight includes Wally Funk, 82. But who's the other mysterious passenger?
(12/23)
How long in space?

The wealthy astronauts will only be in space for eleven minutes. It's a brief but historical trip. (The 90-minutes rule is for the ship's take off and rise, of course.)

(Image: Jeremy Thomas / Unsplash)

Jeff Bezos' spaceflight includes Wally Funk, 82. But who's the other mysterious passenger?
(13/23)
Why does Bezos want to go on July 20?

Bezos' spaceflight will take place on July 20 because that's the date of the Apollo 11 mission to the moon. In the image we see Michael Collins, one of the astronauts who reached the moon in 1969.

Jeff Bezos' spaceflight includes Wally Funk, 82. But who's the other mysterious passenger?
(14/23)
Landing with parachute

After its rise and 11-minute flight in space the ship will return to the earth's atmosphere. It will land with the help of a parachute.

(Image: Iker Urteaga / Unsplash)

Jeff Bezos' spaceflight includes Wally Funk, 82. But who's the other mysterious passenger?
(15/23)
The dangers of space exploration

Unmanned tests of the flight have gone well, but there's always some danger in space travel. The tragedy of the Challenger, NASA's space shuttle that exploded after take off in 1986, is still a vivid collective memory. It claimed the lives of seven people.

Jeff Bezos' spaceflight includes Wally Funk, 82. But who's the other mysterious passenger?
(16/23)
Companies fight over the conquest of space

It's no longer superpowers like the United States and the Soviet Union that compete in a space race. Most countries have abandoned their national space programs. In their place, entrepreneurs like Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos and Richard Branson are competing to conquer the stars.

Jeff Bezos' spaceflight includes Wally Funk, 82. But who's the other mysterious passenger?
(17/23)
Branson is suddenly going too... and earlier!

Virgin's Richard Branson seemed to be lagging behind in the space race, but he unexpectedly announced a flight into space on July 10 and now seems to be back in the race.

Jeff Bezos' spaceflight includes Wally Funk, 82. But who's the other mysterious passenger?
(18/23)
Musk and the explosion

Elon Musk has tried several launches with his company Space X. Its Starship exploded during a test in March 2021, and this meant a severe blow to the plans of the Tesla boss. Nonetheless, the fight goes on.

Jeff Bezos' spaceflight includes Wally Funk, 82. But who's the other mysterious passenger?
(19/23)
2022: heading to Mars

Space X aims to set foot on Martian soil and even dared to pin a date for it: 2022.

Jeff Bezos' spaceflight includes Wally Funk, 82. But who's the other mysterious passenger?
(20/23)
Bezos seems to be ahead

While Musk dreams of Mars, Jeff Bezos is leading in terms of space travel overall. A commercial company's flight with crew members, like the one planned for July 20, is a milestone.

Jeff Bezos' spaceflight includes Wally Funk, 82. But who's the other mysterious passenger?
(21/23)
Space as a business

The new capitalism championed by Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos knows no limits: it conquers privacy as a territory here on earth and the realms of other planets as new business opportunities in space. First, the companies try to make money there by tourism. But then? Who knows.

(Image: Patrick Mcmanaman / Unsplash)

Jeff Bezos' spaceflight includes Wally Funk, 82. But who's the other mysterious passenger?
(22/23)
Colonies on the moon and Mars

Both Space X and Blue Origin have the support (also financial) of the US government. In the pioneering American mindset, the idea of a colonization of space is always present. The moon could be a perfect base to enable shuttles to Mars.

 

Jeff Bezos' spaceflight includes Wally Funk, 82. But who's the other mysterious passenger?
(23/23)
A new frontier

Does this sound like science fiction to you? Perhaps it is. But the possibility of a billionaire building his own ship and traveling into space also sounded unbelievable a few years ago. And now Jeff Bezos is doing it. The name of his mysterious fellow traveller, joining the Bezos brothers and Wally Funk, will be known by the 20th of July. 

(Image: Vincentiu Solomon / Unsplash)

Más para ti