Dutch teen accompanies Jeff Bezos to the edge of space

The capsule interior where the Dutch teenager will sit. Photo: Blue Origin
The capsule interior where the Dutch teenager will sit. Photo: Blue Origin

An 18-year-old from Tilburg will be accompanying former Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos on his trip to the edge of space on Tuesday.

Oliver Daemen is one of four passengers who will be boarding the rocket and capsule developed by Bezos’ private space company Blue Origin. Apart from Bezos’ brother, the passenger list includes 82-year-old Wally Funk and therefore covers both the youngest and the oldest persons ever to reach the edge of space.

The rocket will not actually enter space but will fly for about ten minutes at an altitude of 100 kilometres which will render the passengers weightless for a couple of minutes and allow them to see the curvature of the earth.

Daemen and his father, who is CEO of an investment company and whose private fortune is thought to be around €40m, had originally participated in an auction to sell the tickets but lost out.

When the original winner opted for a later flight, Daemen was told he could come after all.  Daemen Senior did not pay the original winner’s €23m for the ticket but it would still be a hefty sum Quote said, adding that the teen’s age may have worked to his advantage for PR purposes.

‘This is a dream come true for me,’ Daemen, who plans to study physics at Utrecht University on his return, told local broadcaster Omroep Brabant. ‘I really didn’t think it would happen until the call from Blue Origin. It’s only 10 minutes but I’m sure they will be the best 10 minutes of my life.’

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