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After a 60-Year Wait, Aviation Legend Wally Funk Goes to Space With Jeff Bezos

The 60-year wait is over! At 82, the "Mercury 13" legend Wally Funk is finally ready to fulfill her lifetime dream – she's about to become an astronaut. Wally will fly to space on Blue Origin's New Shepard for the company's first human flight as an honored guest, but she won't do it alone...
"Mercury 13" Legend Wally Funk is picked by Jeff Bezos to fly on Blue Origin's first crewed flight 7 photos
Aviation legen Wally Funk is finally going to space after a 60-year wait. She will fly next to Jeff Bezos on Blue Origin's first crewed flightAviation legen Wally Funk is finally going to space after a 60-year wait. She will fly next to Jeff Bezos on Blue Origin's first crewed flightAviation legen Wally Funk is finally going to space after a 60-year wait. She will fly next to Jeff Bezos on Blue Origin's first crewed flightAviation legen Wally Funk is finally going to space after a 60-year wait. She will fly next to Jeff Bezos on Blue Origin's first crewed flightAviation legen Wally Funk is finally going to space after a 60-year wait. She will fly next to Jeff Bezos on Blue Origin's first crewed flightAviation legen Wally Funk is finally going to space after a 60-year wait. She will fly next to Jeff Bezos on Blue Origin's first crewed flight
On the crewed flight, the 82-year-old will join Jeff Bezos, his brother Mark Bezos, and the auction winner. Wally's relationship with space began in the '60s when she volunteered for the NASA-supported "Women in Space" program. Twenty-five women were invited, and 19 accepted, including Funk, the group's youngest member at 21 years old.

They passed the same physiological and psychological screening tests that NASA used to choose astronauts for Project Mercury. On some tests, Wally actually scored better than the renowned astronaut John Glenn. Because only 13 American women graduated, the program got called the "Mercury 13".

However, despite completing their training, the program was canceled. Therefore Wally never got the chance to become an astronaut and fly to space. But she didn't give up her dream. She became National Transportation Safety Board's first female air safety investigator, was the first female civilian flight instructor at Fort Sill, Oklahoma, and she also became the first female Federal Aviation Agency inspector.

She has served as the chief pilot for five aviation schools in the U.S. and has taught over 700 students and 3,000 private, commercial, multi-engine, seaplane, instrument, glider, and air transport pilots as a flight instructor.

Wally has clocked 19,600 hours in the air and continues to fly as an instructor every Saturday. Now, she will finally get past the skies and reach the edge of space as the oldest person ever to get that high. You can check the moment she receives the news from Blue Origin's owner Jeff Bezos down below!

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