90-Year-Old Man Breaks Space Travel Record: ‘Everybody Needs to Do This’

A 90-year-old former Air Force captain broke a record when he was launched into space Sunday morning on Blue Origin’s first crewed spaceflight in nearly two years.

Ed Dwight, whose Blue Origin bio states he was born in 1933 and raised in Kansas City, Kansas, described Sunday’s flight as a “life-changing” experience.

Dwight was one of six people on board, joining Mason Angel, Sylvain Chiron, Kenneth L. Hess, Carol Schaller and Gopi Thotakura for the trip. Sunday’s launch marked the first time Blue Origin’s New Shepard sent humans to space since August 2022.

The rocket took off around 9:35 a.m. Central Time from a site near Van Horn, Texas, and landed back on Earth within 10 minutes, Blue Origin wrote in a post on X, formerly Twitter, where the space company shared updates and videos of the flight. The cost per person for the spaceflight was unknown at the time of publication.

“Blue Origin successfully completed its seventh human spaceflight and the 25th flight for the New Shepard program,” the space company wrote in a statement.

The capsule carrying the passengers landed around 9:45 a.m. While only two of its three parachutes deployed, it did not cause any serious problems for landing.

When the capsule door opened around 10 a.m., Dwight emerged and said he was “ecstatic,” according to Blue Origin’s video of the launch and landing.

“I thought I didn’t need it in my life, but I lied,” Dwight said. “This is a life-changing experience. Everybody needs to do this.”

Newsweek reached out via email on Sunday to representatives for Dwight and Blue Origin for comment.

Former Air Force Captain Ed Dwight was one of six people on board the Blue Origin spaceflight that launched from Texas on May 19, 2024. At 90 years old, Dwight became the oldest person to…

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Blue Origin, the space travel company founded by Jeff Bezos, has flown 37 people – including Sunday’s crew – into space on its New Shepard rocket.

The spaceflight made Dwight, a former Air Force captain turned sculptor, the oldest person to go to space. He surpassed the previous record set by actor William Shatner, who was also 90 when he traveled to space on Blue Origin’s New Shepard in 2021.

After Dwight was first chosen for a Blue Origin flight seat, which was sponsored by the nonprofit Space for Humanity and the Jaison and Jamie Robinson Foundation, he discussed the adventure in an interview with The New York Times that was published in April. Dwight said that after waiting decades, his trip “is a natural occurrence that should have happened at some point.”

“My whole life has been about getting things done,” he said. “This is the culmination.”

In 1961, Dwight was selected by President John F. Kennedy to be “the nation’s first Black astronaut candidate but never had the opportunity to fly,” according to Blue Origin’s statement.

Shortly before Dwight returned to Earth, Blue Origin shared a video on social media that highlighted his journey.

“Soon, Ed Dwight will complete a mission that began 63 years ago,” Blue Origin wrote on X and YouTube.

In a post on X, Blue Origin shared a video of the passengers inside the capsule amid their spaceflight, writing: “Forever changed.”

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