90-year-old astronaut becomes oldest person in space


An US astronaut has become the oldest person in space, 60 years after almost being picked for an early NASA mission.

Former Air Force pilot Ed Dwight, 90, experienced a few minutes of weightlessness with five other passengers, on board a capsule operated by Jeff Bezos.

Dwight was passed over by NASA in 1961 having been picked by President John F Kennedy to train as an astronaut at the Aerospace Research Pilot School.

The brief flight, on Sunday, from west Texas was Blue Origin's seventh time flying space tourists. Dwight becomes the oldest person to fly to the edge of space, surpassing William Shatner who flew in 2021.

Blue Origin launched a six-person crew from West Texas to the edge of space, resuming its centerpiece space tourism business for the first time since its suborbital New Shepard rocket was grounded in 2022.

"I am ecstatic," said Dwight.

Dwight and the other passengers, seated in a gumdrop-shaped capsule atop the rocket, were launched from Blue Origin facilities near the remote desert town of Van Horn. The rocket separated from the capsule, which then ascended further beyond the boundary of Earth's atmosphere to 65.7 miles (105.7 km), while the booster returned to land as planned.

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