Jeff Bezos, 57, made it to space and back, and he had a few lucky companions with him. In addition to his brother, Mark Bezos, and 82-year-old pilot Wally Funk, the former Amazon CEO was joined by 18-year-old Oliver Daemen on Blue Origins’ New Shepard flight, which launched into space on Tuesday, July 20. Oliver’s inclusion on the flight was historic due to both his age and how he snagged a seat on the flight.
But who is Oliver Daemen? From his millionaire father to his personal passion for outer space, HollywoodLife has rounded up five important facts about this super cool teenager. Learn all about him below!
🌍And he's back: Relive the moment Jeff Bezos blasts into space aboard Blue Origin's New Shepard 🚀 pic.twitter.com/81AluXYToO
— Reuters (@Reuters) July 20, 2021
1. Oliver Daemen is from the Netherlands.
Oliver was born on Aug. 20, 2003 in Oisterwijk, Netherlands. He was raised in the Western Europe country by his father, Joes Daemen, and his mother, Eline Daemen. Oliver attended high school at Saint-Adolf High School and graduated in Dec. 2020.
2. Oliver will begin college in the fall.
Oliver is set to begin his college career at the University of Utrecht in the Netherlands this coming fall to study physics and innovation management, according to Blue Origin’s press release. Oliver had graduated high school last December, but decided to take a gap year before he went to college to obtain his private pilot’s license. He was passionate about flight, space and rockets since he was a child, and so he wanted to pursue it while he had the chance. And now his dreams have come true.
3. Oliver’s father is a millionaire.
Oliver’s father Joes is very successful, to say the least. Joes is the founder and CEO of hedgefund Somerset Capitol Partners, according to the company’s website. Joes obtained his Master of Science in Agriculture Economics and Marketing at the University of Wageningen, and then started working as a broker on the financial markets. Joes started as a broker on the financial markets. In 2009, he founded his company with a focus on private equity, real estate development and investments. Joes reportedly has a net worth between $500 million and $1.2 billion.
4. Oliver won a bid to board the New Shepard rocket.
Oliver secured his seat on the New Shepard rocket through an auction, thus making him Blue Origin’s first paying customer. A different person had actually won the bid to board New Shepard by paying $28 million, but that person decided to take a future flight. Instead, Oliver’s father, who had bid the next highest amount, was the winner, and he let his son take the incredible opportunity, according to Blue Origin. The exact price that Joes paid is unknown.
5. Oliver is the youngest person to go to space.
Oliver is making history on the New Shepard rocket as the youngest person to ever launch into space at 18 years old. Meanwhile, 82-year-old Wally is the oldest person to go to space on the ship. Talk about a historic trip!
After he was confirmed to be joining the space adventure, Oliver said he was “super excited” to be traveling to space. “I’ve been dreaming about this all my life,” the teenager said in a July 15 video. “Now I become the youngest astronaut ever because I am 18 years old. I am super excited to experience zero-g and see the world from above. Thank you Blue Origin for making this happen and making New Shepard.”