May 19, 2022

The son of a Dutch investor will join Jeff Bezos on Blue Origin’s first commercial spaceflight, the firm revealed Thursday, after the person who bid $28 million for a seat was unable to make it.

Oliver Daemen, 18, will take the place of the unnamed winner, who is unable to go on July 20 owing to a schedule difficulty, Blue Origin stated.

“I am ecstatic to be going into space,” Daemen stated in a social media video. “I’ve been fantasizing about this my entire life.”

The kid tourist will become Blue Origin’s first paying customer — and is also on track to become the youngest person to fly into space.

Daemen, who took a year off following his high school graduation last year to get his private pilot’s license, secured the fourth and final seat aboard the New Shepard rocket.

He will join Amazon founder Jeff Bezos and his brother Mark, as well as Wally Funk, a female pilot who underwent the same tests as NASA’s Mercury 7 astronauts in the 1960s — but was never allowed to join the exploration because only men were authorized.

At 82, Funk will be the world’s oldest astronaut. When the auction winner withdrew, Blue Origin seized the opportunity to carry the world’s oldest and youngest persons into space on the same mission, according to a family spokeswoman.

The winner, who has not been identified, will board a future aircraft, Blue Origin stated.

Although the firm did not disclose the cost of Daemen’s ticket, a representative stated that it would be significantly less than the winning bid.

Joes Daemen, the founder and CEO of Dutch private equity firm Somerset Capital Partners was another bidder in last month’s auction for a ticket on Blue Origin’s debut human trip.

“However, as offers began to soar during the auction, we withdrew,” the older Daemen stated in a statement.

Daemen, who will begin his studies at the University of Utrecht in the Netherlands in September to study physics and innovation management, was scheduled to participate in the company’s second paid client launch.

Both father and son were en route to Texas on Thursday to begin preparations for the launch.