When Amazon Chair Jeff Bezos blasts off into space today, he’ll be accompanied by both the youngest and oldest people to reach the Kármán line.
At 82 years of age, Mary Wallace “Wally” Funk has been waiting a long time for this opportunity.
“Finally,” she said when Bezos told her that she would be joining him in space.
Bezos posted a video of the heartwarming exchange on his Instagram.
“In 1961, Wally Funk was at the top of her class as part of the ‘Mercury 13’ Women in Space Program,” Bezos said in the caption that accompanied the video. “Despite completing their training, the program was cancelled, and none of the thirteen flew. It’s time. Welcome to the crew, Wally. We’re excited to have you fly with us on July 20th as our honored guest.”
He couldn’t have picked a better candidate. Funk has already amassed 19,600 hours of flying and claims to have taught more than 3,000 people how to navigate the air.