Instagram | @jeffbezos

82-Year-Old Woman Denied Space Trip In '60s Will Finally Go With Jeff Bezos

We've all known, for quite awhile now, that Amazon mogul and mega-billionaire Jeff Bezos is going to space.

While it's hard to be particularly interested in an extremely rich person spending a few minutes in orbit, there's a fascinating angle to this story.

An 82-year-old woman who was denied a trip to space more than half a century ago is finally getting her chance to go. She'll accompany Bezos to space on July 20th.

Mary Wallace "Wally" Funk could have been the first woman in space.

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Funk, who's now 82 years old, had an accomplished career as an aviator.

Way back in 1959, Funk was selected, along with a dozen other women, as the "Mercury 13": a group of women who underwent screening and training to be astronauts.

She never went to space.

Wikipedia | NASA

Not only did she never go to space, Funk was denied by three commercial airlines in the late 1960s because they didn't want to allow female pilots.

Funk did go on to a career at the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) along with participating in barnstorming air races. When she retired, she became a pilot trainer.

Funk is an aviation hero.

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While her flying exploits are well known, Funk likely thought she'd lost her chance to go to space.

Now, though, Funk will get her opportunity: as an "honored guest" aboard the New Shepard suborbital spacecraft along with Bezos and two other passengers.

Bezos made the big reveal on Instagram.

Instagram | @jeffbezos

The touching video gave some background on Funk's impressive career in aviation, and concluded with the big reveal: Bezos telling Funk that she'd be going to space. She broke into a wide grin and gave him a big hug.

They'll blast off on July 20th.

Instagram | @jeffbezos

While bad breaks and abundant sexism prevented Funk from going to space in the 1960s, she'll finally get her chance after waiting for six decades.

Check out the full video below, and let us know your thoughts in the comments section.

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