Woman cut from astronaut program in 1960s over gender joining Bezos in space

A woman who completed astronaut training in the 1960s but was ultimately prevented from flying because of her gender is finally getting her shot to go to space.

In a Thursday Instagram post, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos announced that female aerospace pioneer Wally Funk will be joining him aboard the New Shepard rocket.

No one has waited longer,” Bezos wrote about Funk in the announcement.

Funk completed astronaut training in 1961 as a member of the “Mercury 13” Woman in Space Program. Bezos noted that the program was ultimately cut before Funk was able to participate in a mission, however.
“It’s time,” Bezos concluded his post. “Welcome to the crew, Wally. We’re excited to have you fly with us on July 20th as our honored guest.”
Funk’s successful voyage into space will make her the oldest person to ever do so. The 82-year-old will join Bezos, his brother and a $28 million charity auction winner on the rocket.

“I’ll love every second of it,” Funk said in a video Bezos shared. “Woooo! I can hardly wait.”

She added that she’s never let being a female hold her back from her career pursuits.

“Nothing has ever gotten in my way,” she told Bezos. “They said, ‘Well, you’re a girl, you can’t do that.’ I said, ‘Guess what, doesn’t matter what you are. You can still do it if you want to do it and I like to do things that nobody has ever done.'”

Tags Bezos Jeff Bezos Jeff Bezos New Shepard Private spaceflight Space tourism Wally Funk

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