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Jeff Bezos’s rocket maker said the 18-year-old son of a Dutch financier will fly to space with the Amazon.com Inc. founder on the company’s first crewed mission, after the winner of an auction for the seat opted for a later flight.
Oliver Daemen, who graduated from high school last year, will be the youngest person to travel to space, Bezos’s Blue Origin said in an email Thursday. The anonymous bidder who agreed to pay US$28 million for a seat on the rocket ride had a scheduling conflict and will instead fly on a future trip, the company said without elaborating.
Daemen is the son of Somerset Capital Partners Chief Executive Officer Joes Daemen, who paid for the seat and chose to let Oliver fly instead, Blue Origin said. Daemen was a bidder in the auction and had secured a berth on a second crewed flight. He was moved to next week’s mission when the seat became available, the company said.
Oliver and Joes Daemen weren’t immediately available for comment. The younger Daemen plans to study physics and innovation management in September at the University of Utrecht in the Netherlands.
The flight from West Texas aboard Blue Origin’s New Shepard rocket “will fulfill a lifelong dream for Oliver, who has been fascinated by space, the Moon, and rockets since he was four.”
The crew members on the July 20 mission will include Bezos; his brother, Mark; Daemen; and Wally Funk, 82, a former astronaut trainee. Funk will be the oldest person to fly to space, Blue Origin said.