“I’ll love every second of it. Whoooo! Ha-ha. I can hardly wait,” Funk said in an Instagram video posted by Bezos.
“Nothing has ever gotten in my way,” she added. “They said, ‘Well, you’re a girl, you can’t do that.’ I said, ’Guess what, doesn’t matter what you are. You can still do it if you want to do it and I like to do things that nobody has ever done.”
She’ll beat the late John Glenn, who set a record at age 77 when flying aboard space shuttle Discovery in 1998. Glenn pooh-poohed the idea of women flying in space, shortly after he became the first American to orbit the world in 1962.
“No one has waited longer,” Bezos said via Instagram. “It’s time. Welcome to the crew, Wally.”
Bezos is stepping down as Amazon’s CEO on Monday.
Blue Origin has yet to announce ticket prices or when the public might strap into the spacious six-seat capsule. Its New Shepard rocket is named for Alan Shepard, the first American in space.
Virgin Galactic has more than 600 reservations in the pipeline. These original tickets went for $250,000. The company will start accepting more following the upcoming flight with Branson. Keen to get to space, Funk reserved a seat years ago.
Virgin Galactic plans three more test flights before taking up customers, Branson was initially supposed to be on the second demo coming up, but moved it up in an apparent bid to outdo Bezos. He said Wednesday, after his other company Virgin Orbit launched a batch of satellites, that it’s important for his customers to see him ride his rocket ship first, before they climb on board.