Ecstatic Dutch teen hugs familiy and says ‘that was great’ after becoming youngest space astronaut

A Dutch teenager made history today by becoming the youngest astronaut in space after snagging a spot on Jeff Bezos’ New Shepard rocket for an 11-minute trip worth millions.

Physics student Oliver Daemen, 18, credits Thunderbirds with sparking his fascination with space and rockets at a young age. 

‘Thank you very much, that was great’ Oliver was heard saying in a livestreamed video after landing safely back on Earth. 

He was seen hugging his loved ones after emerging from the craft having become only the fourth Dutchman to have been in space.

In an Instagram post on Monday, a day before the launch, Oliver wrote: ‘Ready to fly Into Space!,’ alongside two pictures of himself in the bright blue Blue Origin jumpsuit he will wear into space, which bears the flag of the Netherlands on the right arm. 

The recent high school graduate, who also recently earned a private pilot’s license, enjoys a raft of outdoor activities, including wakeboarding, snorkeling and surfing.

He was part of the first crewed flight of the New Shepard, a rocket ship built by Bezos’ company Blue Origin to cater to a future market for space tourism, which launched today from a site near Van Horn, Texas.

Oliver’s dream was made possible by his father Joes Daemen, a private equity boss who placed the second place bid in the auction, before the $28million winning bidder deferred to a later flight. 

Joining Oliver on the flight was Bezos himself, his brother Mark Bezos, Mary Wallace ‘Wally’ Funk – a pioneering female astronaut who was making her maiden voyage into space aged 82 – and two other passengers.  

Oliver Daemen, a Dutch teenager who credits Thunderbirds for sparking his interest in rockets, became the youngest astronaut in space ever today after snagging a spot on Jeff Bezos' New Shepard rocket. Pictured: Oliver (left) with his father Joes

Oliver Daemen, a Dutch teenager who credits Thunderbirds for sparking his interest in rockets, became the youngest astronaut in space ever today after snagging a spot on Jeff Bezos' New Shepard rocket. Pictured: Oliver (left) with his father Joes

Oliver Daemen, a Dutch teenager who credits Thunderbirds for sparking his interest in rockets, became the youngest astronaut in space ever today after snagging a spot on Jeff Bezos’ New Shepard rocket. Pictured: Oliver (left) with his father Joes

'Ready to fly Into Space!,' Oliver wrote in an Instagram post on Monday

'Ready to fly Into Space!,' Oliver wrote in an Instagram post on Monday

The bright blue Blue Origin jumpsuit Oliver will wear into space, which bears the flag of the Netherlands on the right arm

The bright blue Blue Origin jumpsuit Oliver will wear into space, which bears the flag of the Netherlands on the right arm

‘Ready to fly Into Space!,’ Oliver wrote in an Instagram post on Monday alongside two pictures of himself in the bright blue Blue Origin jumpsuit he will wear into space, which bears the flag of the Netherlands on the right arm.

'Thank you very much, that was great' Oliver (left) was heard saying in a livestreamed video after landing safely back on Earth. He was seen hugging his loved ones after emerging from the craft

'Thank you very much, that was great' Oliver (left) was heard saying in a livestreamed video after landing safely back on Earth. He was seen hugging his loved ones after emerging from the craft

‘Thank you very much, that was great’ Oliver (left) was heard saying in a livestreamed video after landing safely back on Earth. He was seen hugging his loved ones after emerging from the craft

Oliver, 18, (left) originally secured a spot on the second New Shepard flight after his millionaire equity boss father came second in an auction. But the anonymous winner had to drop out due to an undisclosed scheduling conflict

Oliver, 18, (left) originally secured a spot on the second New Shepard flight after his millionaire equity boss father came second in an auction. But the anonymous winner had to drop out due to an undisclosed scheduling conflict

Oliver, 18, (left) originally secured a spot on the second New Shepard flight after his millionaire equity boss father came second in an auction. But the anonymous winner had to drop out due to an undisclosed scheduling conflict

Pictured: A young Oliver in a video message he shared after his place aboard the flight was publicly confirmed

Pictured: A young Oliver in a video message he shared after his place aboard the flight was publicly confirmed

Pictured: A young Oliver in a video message he shared after his place aboard the flight was publicly confirmed

In a video message after his place aboard the flight was publicly confirmed, Oliver said he was ‘super excited’ to have the chance to fulfil a lifelong dream. 

‘I think it’s the ultimate dream for so many people to go to space. I guess my first memories of space were Thunderbirds. I was a big fan of that, watched every single episode there was – that was like the big thing with rockets and everything,’ he said. 

Thunderbirds was a long-running British science-fiction television program following the missions of the International Rescue team. 

Oliver’s father’s second bid originally secured a space on the second New Shepard flight, which the winning bidder will now travel on after a ‘scheduling conflict’ forced him to delay. 

It is not known how much Joes Daemen, the founder and CEO of Dutch private equity firm Somerset Capital Partners, bid.

‘He was a participant in the auction and had secured a seat on the second flight,’ the spokesperson said via email. ‘We moved him up when this seat on the first flight became available,’ Blue Origin confirmed to DailyMail.com earlier this month.

‘At 18-years-old and 82-years-young, Oliver Daemen and Wally Funk represent the youngest and oldest astronauts to travel to space,’ Blue Origin said in a statement.

Oliver is now the fourth Dutchman to have been in space, after Lodewijk van den Berg, Wubbo Ockels and André Kuipers.

Joining Oliver (second from right) on the flight was Jeff Bezos (centre), his brother Mark Bezos (left), Mary Wallace 'Wally' Funk (right) - a pioneering female astronaut who was making her maiden voyage into space aged 82 - and two other passengers

Joining Oliver (second from right) on the flight was Jeff Bezos (centre), his brother Mark Bezos (left), Mary Wallace 'Wally' Funk (right) - a pioneering female astronaut who was making her maiden voyage into space aged 82 - and two other passengers

Joining Oliver (second from right) on the flight was Jeff Bezos (centre), his brother Mark Bezos (left), Mary Wallace ‘Wally’ Funk (right) – a pioneering female astronaut who was making her maiden voyage into space aged 82 – and two other passengers

Oliver, a 2020 high school graduate who also recently earned a private pilot's license, enjoys a raft of outdoor activities, including wakeboarding, snorkeling and surfing

Oliver, a 2020 high school graduate who also recently earned a private pilot's license, enjoys a raft of outdoor activities, including wakeboarding, snorkeling and surfing

 Oliver, a 2020 high school graduate who also recently earned a private pilot’s license, enjoys a raft of outdoor activities, including wakeboarding, snorkeling and surfing

The photo above from Oliver's Instagram shows him (second from left) posing with Dutch DJ Martin Garrix (right) and Belgian-Dutch Formula One driver Max Verstappen (left) and his sister Charlotte (second from right)

The photo above from Oliver's Instagram shows him (second from left) posing with Dutch DJ Martin Garrix (right) and Belgian-Dutch Formula One driver Max Verstappen (left) and his sister Charlotte (second from right)

The photo above from Oliver’s Instagram shows him (second from left) posing with Dutch DJ Martin Garrix (right) and Belgian-Dutch Formula One driver Max Verstappen (left) and his sister Charlotte (second from right)

Pictured: Oliver's mum, Eline Daemen Dekker, and his sister Charlotte

Pictured: Oliver's mum, Eline Daemen Dekker, and his sister Charlotte

Pictured: Oliver’s mum, Eline Daemen Dekker, and his sister Charlotte

GeekWire reported that Oliver graduated from high school last year and took a gap year before gaining his private pilot’s license in Spain.

He is due to begin a degree in physics and innovation management at the University of Utrecht in September. 

Pictures on Oliver’s Instagram account show him snorkeling, diving and wakeboarding, as well as posing with Dutch DJ Martin Garrix and Belgian-Dutch Formula One driver Max Verstappen. 

Oliver’s mother, Eline Daemen Dekker, is an ambassador at Somerset Capital Partners Foundation and volunteers with a program to combat loneliness among the elderly. She previously worked as a cabin crew member for KLM for five years. He also has a sister named Charlotte. 

Blue Origin said Tuesday’s launch ‘marks the beginning of commercial operations for New Shepard, and Oliver represents a new generation of people who will help us build a road to space.’

The auction gift has allowed Club for the Future to donate $1million each to 19 non-profit organizations, which are all supporting living and working in space. 

GeekWire reported that Oliver (pictured) graduated from high school last year and took a gap year before gaining his private pilot's license in Spain

GeekWire reported that Oliver (pictured) graduated from high school last year and took a gap year before gaining his private pilot's license in Spain

GeekWire reported that Oliver (pictured) graduated from high school last year and took a gap year before gaining his private pilot’s license in Spain

Oliver is due to begin a degree in physics and innovation management at the University of Utrecht in September

Oliver is due to begin a degree in physics and innovation management at the University of Utrecht in September

Oliver is due to begin a degree in physics and innovation management at the University of Utrecht in September

Oliver (centre) is seen with his proud parents on his high school graduation day this summer

Oliver (centre) is seen with his proud parents on his high school graduation day this summer

Oliver (centre) is seen with his proud parents on his high school graduation day this summer

The recent high school graduate enjoys a raft of outdoor activities, including wakeboarding (pictured), snorkeling and surfing

The recent high school graduate enjoys a raft of outdoor activities, including wakeboarding (pictured), snorkeling and surfing

The recent high school graduate enjoys a raft of outdoor activities, including wakeboarding (pictured), snorkeling and surfing

The winner of the auction beat 20 other participants in a bidding spree at auction that began in late May and wrapped up with a 10-minute online bidding frenzy in late June, livecast by Blue Origin.  

Tuesday’s launch – which coincides with the anniversary of the moon landing – was the first test of Blue Origin’s New Shepard rocket with people on board, kicking off the company’s space tourism business.  

Blue Origin named the New Shepard program after astronaut Alan Shepard, who was the first American to fly into space exactly 60 years ago.

Fifteen previous test flights of the reusable rocket, which brings the capsule to an altitude of more than 340,000 fleet, and capsule since 2015 – short hops lasting about 10 minutes – were all successful.

Bezos, the world’s wealthiest man and a lifelong space enthusiast, was pipped to the post of launching the first commercial space flight by fellow billionaire businessman Richard Branson, who flew with his Virgin Galactic space plane nine days ago.

Today's launch - which coincides with the anniversary of the moon landing - was the first test of Blue Origin's New Shepard rocket with people on board, kicking off the company's space tourism business. Pictured: Oliver and a relative

Today's launch - which coincides with the anniversary of the moon landing - was the first test of Blue Origin's New Shepard rocket with people on board, kicking off the company's space tourism business. Pictured: Oliver and a relative

Today’s launch – which coincides with the anniversary of the moon landing – was the first test of Blue Origin’s New Shepard rocket with people on board, kicking off the company’s space tourism business. Pictured: Oliver and a relative

Blue Origin said Tuesday's launch 'marks the beginning of commercial operations for New Shepard, and Oliver (pictured) represents a new generation of people who will help us build a road to space'

Blue Origin said Tuesday's launch 'marks the beginning of commercial operations for New Shepard, and Oliver (pictured) represents a new generation of people who will help us build a road to space'

Blue Origin said Tuesday’s launch ‘marks the beginning of commercial operations for New Shepard, and Oliver (pictured) represents a new generation of people who will help us build a road to space’

Oliver (pictured) was part of the first crewed flight of the New Shepard, a rocket ship built by Bezos' company Blue Origin to cater to a future market for space tourism, which launched today from a site near Van Horn, Texas

Oliver (pictured) was part of the first crewed flight of the New Shepard, a rocket ship built by Bezos' company Blue Origin to cater to a future market for space tourism, which launched today from a site near Van Horn, Texas

Oliver (pictured) was part of the first crewed flight of the New Shepard, a rocket ship built by Bezos’ company Blue Origin to cater to a future market for space tourism, which launched today from a site near Van Horn, Texas

Link hienalouca.com

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