Wally Funk

Wally Funk, a pilot who grew up in Taos selected to join the July 20 launch of New Shepard in Texas, pictured now and then.

Wally Funk, an 82-year-old pilot who grew up in Taos, became the oldest person in history to go to space this morning (July 20) after Blue Origin’s rocket, New Shepard, completed its first manned flight successfully.

Funk, who now lives in Roanoke, Texas, was among the “Mercury 13,” a group of women who underwent astronaut testing in the early 1960s but were never allowed to be part of a mission into space.

Jeff Bezos, former CEO of Amazon, invited Funk to join the first manned flight for his space company after learning of her origin story.

The flight Tuesday morning launched from Blue Origin's facilities in West Texas, successfully reached suborbital space and then descended safely back to Earth. The flight lasted around 10 minutes.

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