It’s finally happening! Mary Wallace Funk, mostly known as Wally, will finally go into space after a 60-year wait. He joined Jeff Bezos, his brother Mark, and the mystery winner of a seat on July 20 to become the fourth member of Blue Origin’s first manned spacecraft. Funk is an aircraft legend. She was an aviation safety investigator at the National Transportation Safety Board, the first woman to become a Federal Aviation Agency inspector, and taught about 3,000 people to fly.
But many will remember her as one of the so-called Mercury 13s, a team of female pilots who in 1961 underwent and passed all the same physiological screening tests required to join the NASA astronaut corps, except for going into space. As part of this program, Funk proved that he and other women have the qualities and qualifications needed to go into space. He actually scored more than John Glenn, the first American to orbit the world. Nevertheless, when NASA finally began accepting women as astronauts – Sally Ride finally flew in 1983 – Funk was rejected three times for not having an engineering degree or background as a test pilot. He actually scored more than John Glenn, the first American to orbit the world. Nevertheless, when NASA finally began accepting women as astronauts – Sally Ride finally flew in 1983 – Funk was rejected three times for not having an engineering degree or background as a test pilot.
This month, his long-awaited goal of flying into space will finally come true. He will fly on the first crew flight of the reusable rocket New Shepard in the suburbs of Blue Origin and reach 100 kilometers (62 miles) above the Earth’s surface in four minutes. “No one waited any longer,” Bases said in an Instagram post, along with his video, Funk’s release video will be the fourth member. “I like every second of it,” Funk said in the video. “I couldn’t wait.” At 82, Funk will fly into space to become the greatest man of all time, proving that it’s probably not too late to fulfill your dreams.
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