Jeff Bezos's rocket maker picked an 18-year-old student to fly to space with the Amazon.com Inc. founder next week on the company's first crewed mission, after the winner of an auction for the seat decided to travel later.
Oliver Daemen, who graduated from high school last year, will be the youngest person to travel to space, Bezos's Blue Origin said in an email Thursday. The anonymous bidder who agreed to pay $28 million for a seat on the flight has a scheduling conflict and will instead fly on a future trip, the company said without elaborating.
Daemen is the son of Somerset Capital Partners Chief Executive Officer Joes Daemen, who paid for the seat and chose to let Oliver fly instead, CNBC reported, citing the company. Blue Origin didn't immediately respond to questions about the family connection or plans for its second flight with people.
Oliver and Joes Daemen weren't immediately available for comment.
The crew members on the July 20 mission aboard Blue Origin's New Shepard rocket will include Bezos; his brother, Mark; Daemen; and Wally Funk, 82, a former astronaut trainee. Funk will be the oldest person to fly to space, Blue Origin said.
Daemen was a bidder in the auction and had secured a seat on Blue Origin's second flight, a spokesman for the company said. He was moved to next week's mission when the seat became available. Daemen plans to study physics and innovation management in September at the University of Utrecht in the Netherlands.
The New Shepard flight from West Texas "will fulfill a lifelong dream for Oliver, who has been fascinated by space, the Moon, and rockets since he was four."