An 18-year-old student will become the youngest person to travel to space when he joins Jeff Bezos on his space company’s first flight on July 20.
Oliver Damien will travel to space in place of an unnamed person who won a ticket at auction worth $28 million.
Bezos’s aerospace company, Blue Origin, said the auction winner was unable to travel during the space mission “due to scheduling conflicts.”
The teenager is reported to be the son of the chairman of Partner Capital Somersett Real Estate, Joyce Damon.
Blue Origin said Damien Sr. secured a seat on the second spaceflight, but was moved to the first flight when the auction winner withdrew.
Then he chose to send his son, who studies physics, into space instead.
The flight team will include Bezos and his brother Mark aboard the New Shepard spacecraft. They will be joined by the student and 82-year-old Wally Funk, who will become the oldest person to travel to space.
The previous winner of the auction is not known, despite the approaching launch date of the space rocket, and the nature of the “conflict” that led to the withdrawal of this traveler was not disclosed.
Blue Origin did not disclose the cost of the ticket price.
She said that the space flight would fulfill a dream that the teenager had for the rest of his life. Space, the moon, and rockets have captured his fascination since he was four years old.
The company plans to take passengers more than 100 kilometers (62 miles) above the ground, so that the flight will allow them to feel a bit of zero gravity.
The capsule will return to Earth using parachutes for a flight expected to last 10 minutes.
Jeff Bezos is considered one of the wealthiest people on Earth.
Bezos set up Blue Origin in 2000 and announced last month that he and his brother would embark on the journey he described as having wanted “all his life”.
This spaceflight comes after British billionaire Sir Richard Branson succeeded in reaching the edge of space aboard a Virgin Galactic rocket last week.