Wally Funk

American aviator and astronaut

Mary Wallace "Wally" Funk (born February 1, 1939) is an American aviator and Goodwill Ambassador. She was one of the Mercury 13, and was the first female air safety investigator for the National Transportation Safety Board, the first civilian flight instructor at Fort Sill, Oklahoma, and the first Federal Aviation Agency inspector.[1]

Wally Funk
Wally Funk in 2012
Born (1939-02-01) February 1, 1939 (age 85)
Known forFirst female FAA and NTSB inspector; one of the Mercury 13; oldest person in space.
Space career
Mercury 13 and Blue Origin astronaut
Time in space
7 minutes
MissionsBlue Origin NS-16

On July 19, 2021 Blue Origin successfully conducts its first human test flight, with Funk, Jeff Bezos, his brother Mark and 18-year-old Oliver Daemen going to space.[2][3] She became the oldest person ever to go to space.[4][5]


  1. "Advancing Women Pilots | Women Pilots Today | Wally Funk (The..." The Ninety-Nines, Inc. Retrieved 2016-04-21.
  2. "Jeff Bezos launches to space aboard New Shepard rocket ship". BBC News. July 20, 2021. Retrieved July 20, 2021.
  3. "Replay - New Shepard First Human Flight". YouTube. July 20, 2021. Retrieved July 20, 2021.
  4. Machemer, Theresa. "Trailblazing Pilot Wally Funk Will Go to Space 60 Years After Passing Her Astronaut Tests". Smithsonian Magazine. Retrieved 2021-07-20.
  5. Foust, Jeff (20 July 2021). "Blue Origin launches Bezos on first crewed New Shepard flight". SpaceNews. Retrieved 20 Jul 2021.