The Truth About Oliver Daeman, The 18-Year-Old Going To Space

Imagine having the chance to go to space, but being too busy to make your flight. That's exactly what has happened with the winner of an auction for a spot on the first human flight of the New Shepard, the reusable passenger rocket built by Amazon founder Jeff Bezos' company Blue Origin. On July 20, 2021, Bezos will come in second in the billionaire space race, reaching the edge of the rest of the universe merely a week after fellow dude with too much money Richard Branson made it aboard the first fully-crewed flight operated by his company Virgin Galactic. The New York Times reported that Branson called the experience "magical."

According to CNBC, Bezos auctioned off a seat on his first flight to space for a whopping $28 million, but the bidder — who remains anonymous — reportedly had "scheduling conflicts" and will have to fly on a later launch. The world will have to wait to hear just what on Earth was more important than going to outer space. Maybe the winner will let us know when he or she finally goes up. For now, let's take a look at the person taking the winner's spot on the New Shepard: 18-year-old Oliver Daeman.

Oliver Daeman will be Blue Origin's first 'paying customer' for a flight to space

So who is this kid who gets to live the dream of pretty much every other child to have ever walked the Earth and gazed in wonder at the night sky? According to, Oliver Daeman is accompanying Bezos, his brother Mark, and aviator and female astronaut advocate Wally Funk as Blue Origin's first "paying customer." His seat is not related to the auction winner, but was bought by his father Joes, a CEO of a private equity firm. The price Joes paid for the ticket has not been made public. Young Oliver is currently on his gap year, training to obtain his private pilot's license. His future classmates at the University of Utrecht, in the Netherlands, will surely have a hard time topping his story with whatever they did down on the ground during their gap years.

After the flight, Oliver will be the youngest person to have ever gone to space, a record currently held by Soviet cosmonaut Gherman Titov, who was 25 when he left Earth's atmosphere. Interestingly, the New Shepard will also have on board the oldest astronaut ever. Funk is 82 years old, just a few years older than John Glenn was (77) when he went in 1998.