In pictures: Blue Origin helps Wally Funk achieve spaceflight dream
Blue Origin's first crewed flight of New Shepard takes off from West Texas.
At the age of 82, former NASA trainee astronaut Wally Funk must have believed that her dreams of leaving Earth were long-gone. But on 20 July 2021, she became the oldest person to fly in space, as part of the first crewed mission of Blue Origin's New Shepard mission which took off from a desert in West Texas, USA.
Wally was part of a crew of four private citizens who flew past the Kármán Line, the internationally recognised boundary of space, to a height of approximately 100 kilometres above the surface of the Earth.
The New Shepard is controlled only by its onboard computers, with no human pilot and no help from a ground control team. Blue Origin expects to fly two additional crewed flights this year, with more planned for 2022.
Rolling out in the desert
Launch drawing closer
Getting their wings
We have lift-off
If you are enjoying this gallery, why not check out some of our other image galleries:
- An epic six-hour spacewalk to upgrade the ISS
- Galactic Fireworks and new nearby stars
- Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2021 shortlist announced
Easy does it
Worth the wait
Wally Funk comes full-circle
James Cutmore is the picture editor of BBC Science Focus Magazine, researching striking images for the magazine and on the website. He is also has a passion for taking his own photographs
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