Daemen is the First Paying Customer of Blue Origin

At a mere 18 years old, Oliver Daemen became the youngest person to travel to space on Tuesday when he accompanied billionaire Jeff Bezos on the inaugural Blue Origin rocket launch. How did Daemen get this honor? It turns out that money talks.

Details of Flight Crew

Daemen joined Bezos, 82-year-old pilot Wally Funk, and Bezos’ brother Mark on the maiden voyage of the New Shepard. The teen replaced his father on the trip when he had to cancel because of scheduling conflicts. Just as Daemen was the youngest person to ever travel to space, Funk became the oldest.

The recent high school graduate’s father, Joes Daemen, earned the seat on the rocket after bidding $28 million for the honor at an auction. The elder Daemen is the CEO of Somerset Capital Partners, a Dutch equity firm.

The flight only lasted about 11 minutes, sending Daemen and the rest of the crew into space on a once-in-a-lifetime joy ride. The passengers enjoyed the thrill of weightlessness for about three minutes.

About Blue Origin

As the former Amazon CEO, Bezos founded Blue Origin in 2000 with the goal of using rocket technology to further his business goals. As Amazon continued to flourish in the following years, Bezos was able to funnel more money to the Blue Origin project.

Bezos has a goal of making space travel more accessible for all citizens of the world. While Bezos acknowledges that it will be years before space travel is affordable for most people, it is his ultimate goal to make civilian travel more commonplace.