JAKARTA, KOMPAS.com – After waiting for half a woman pilot who had trained for NASA’s Mercury program, Wally Funk, finally made it to space mission.
On Tuesday (20/7/2021), local time, Funk successfully completed his 10-minute journey into space on a Blue Origin New Shepard rocket with the world’s richest man, Jeff Bezos.
“I loved every minute (of the trip). I just wish it would have lasted longer … and could do more rolls and twists and so on,” he said after the trip. 7/2021).
“But I love it and can’t wait to fly again,” he said.
According to Bezos’ Instagram post, Funk traveled to space with Blue Origin Snew Shepard as guest of honor.
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In the radio recording of the rocket launch, Funk’s voice was heard calling for the dark conditions of outer space.
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“I saw darkness. I thought I would see the world, but we’re not high enough,” Funk said at a press conference after the flight.
For the record, Funk once volunteered to be a member of the Mercury 13 program, or known as the ‘Women in Space Program’, or the Women in Space Program, in February 1961.
The program is a privately funded program to train and fly women into space for the first time.
The 13 women involved in the program underwent training and testing which was also conducted by 7 men previously involved in the Mercury program.
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Funk even spent 10 hours 35 minutes in a sensory deprivation tank in one Mercury 13 test, outperforming famed astronaut John Glenn.
“I called NASA four times, and said ‘I want to be an astronaut,’ but no one wanted to accept me,” Funk said.
“I didn’t think I’d ever go up. Nothing ever got in my way. They said, ‘Wally, you’re a girl, you can’t do that.’ I said, ‘Guess what, no matter who you are, you can still do it if you want to do it,’ and I like to do things that no one has ever done before,” Funk said.
CNN reported, Funk has experience flying an extraordinary fleet of aircraft, his flight hours have reached more than 19,600 hours and has trained more than 3,000 people how to fly, both for commercial and personal aircraft.
“Everything the FAA owns, I own the license. And I can surpass you,” Funk said.
The Guardian reported in 2019 that Funk had purchased tickets for a suborbital spacecraft built by Virgin Galactic, a company backed by Richard Branson.
Virgin Galactic is one of Blue Origin’s competitors and is developing a commercial aviation program. However, Virgin Galactic has yet to announce a date for its first commercial flight.
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