Amsterdam: The Dutch youngster who became the world’s youngest space traveller this week stunned billionaire Jeff Bezos on the journey by revealing that he had never purchased anything from Amazon.com.
An 18-year-old physics student, Oliver Daemen, followed Bezos, his brother Mark Bezos and 82-year-old female aviator Wally Funk, the world’s oldest person to travel to space – on a 10-minute journey outside Earth’s atmosphere.
Bezos financed Blue Origin’s research by selling billions of dollars worth of stock in his online delivery firm, Amazon.
In an interview with a leading daily on Friday at Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport, Daemen said: ‘I told Jeff, like, I’ve actually never bought something from Amazon. And he was like, oh, wow, it’s a long time ago I heard someone say that.’
Daemen found out he would be joining the flight, while on a family vacation in Italy when another applicant bidding $28 million for the ride cancelled at the last minute. ‘They called and asked: Are you still interested?’ and we were like ‘Yes! Yes! Yes!’
Daemen had dreamed of space travel since he was a child, following the progress of space exploration organisations like Blue Origin and earning his pilot’s licence at a young age.
‘We didn’t pay even close to $28 million, but they chose me because I was the youngest and I was also a pilot and I also knew quite a lot about it already,’ Daemen said.