October 24, 2021

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‘Mercury 13’ pilot Wally Funk will carry 60 years of history to space on Blue Origin flight

6 min read

When Amazon founder Jeff Bezos offered her a seat on the first crewed flight of his space tourism enterprise Blue Origin, it was an invitation aviator Wally Funk had waited six decades to receive.

Funk, age 82, is one of a dozen women who have come to be known as the Mercury 13 in pointed contrast to NASA’s original astronauts, the Mercury 7. Funk and the others were skilled pilots who, like their male counterparts, dreamed of flying even higher, to space. But they were never included in NASA’s vision for spaceflight and never became astronauts — until now. 

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