Who is Oliver Daemen? Financier's son, 18, will join Jeff Bezos on Blue Origin space flight
Reaching for the skies is not a far-fetched dream anymore and earthlings have finally progressed enough to achieve what once was considered unthinkable. Sir Richard Branson flew to the edge of space and made it back earthside in his Virgin Galactic passenger rocket plane on July 11. Whether he really is the first person to blast off into space in his own spaceship is up for debate after scientist Neil deGrasse Tyson argued where Branson went couldn't be called space and it was suborbital at best.
His rival Jeff Bezos's company Blue Origin which is a privately funded aerospace manufacturer and sub-orbital spaceflight services company has designed a reusable suborbital rocket system. Bezos is about to make his maiden journey to space on July 20. Riding with ex-Amazon CEO are three other passengers one of them being Mercury 13 aviator Wally Funk who is Bezos's personal invitee. Also accompanying him on the trip is his brother Mark Bezos. Blue Origin auctioned off a seat on Saturday, June 12, on its first crewed spaceflight.
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The bidding opened at $4.8 million and went beyond $20 million in the first couple of minutes and the winning bidder whose name wasn't released paid $28 million which earned him a spot on the space flight. However, the individual has rescheduled his journey due to scheduling conflicts that haven't been made public. Instead, Oliver Daemen, an 18-year-old physics student will now make the journey with Bezos sitting next to him after his father won the second-place bid. Here's what you need to know about the lucky teenager.
Who is Oliver Daemen?
Oliver Daemen, an 18-year-old physics student is the first paying customer and the youngest person ever to fly into space. He was offered the seat on the spaceflight after it became available, according to the spokeswoman for Blue Origin who did not divulge any details about the cost of his ticket. “Oliver represents a new generation of people who will help us build a road to space,” Blue Origin Chief Executive Bob Smith said in a statement.
According to LinkedIn, Daemen is from Tilburg, North Braband in the Netherlands. He was a student at Odulphuslyceum, a Catholic secondary school, and last year he joined a flight training center Grupo One Air Aviation in Spain to acquire a Private Pilot Licence. He is the son of Joes Daemen, the founder of Somerset Capital Partners BV, an investment firm. A spokeswoman for the family revealed Daemen's ticket to space was a gift from his father given the teen's interest in space and aviation. Daemen along with the Bezos brothers and Wally Funk will fly into space on July 20 at 9 am ET. The flight is expected to last 11 minutes and the launch can be watched live on Blue Origin's website.