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Blue Origin Replaces Auction Winner With Teen for Space Flight

Oliver Daemen, a physics student and son of Somerset Capital CEO Joes Daemen, will replace the winner of an auction on Blue Origin's space flight.
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Jeff Bezos's Blue Origin will fly an 18-year old physics student to space in place of the winning bidder of last month's public auction for a seat on the trip. 

Oliver Daemen will accompany Bezos, his brother, Mark Bezos, and aerospace engineer Mary Wallace Funk on Blue Origin's New Shepard rocket which is set to blast off on July 20. 

The anonymous winner of the auction, who'd bid $28 million, could not make the flight due to scheduling conflicts. 

Daemen is the son of Somerset Capital Partners Chief Executive Joes Daemen, who paid for the flight. 

Joes Daemen also participated in the auction and had secured a seat on the company's second flight. 

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Oliver Daemen would be the youngest person to fly to low-orbit space while Funk, 82, will become the oldest. 

Last Sunday the entrepreneur Richard Branson and a five-member flight crew completed a Virgin Galactic  (SPCE) - Get Report test flight on its VSS Unity space plane, beating Bezos into space. 

Branson and his crew departed from Virgin Galactic’s Spaceport America launch site outside of Truth or Consequences, N.M., at 8:40 a.m. local time and returned at 9:38 a.m. The mission tested the private astronaut experience and evaluated the commercial customer cabin environment and conditions.

“I don’t know what’s going to come out of my mouth because I feel like I’m still in space,” Branson said at a news conference following the flight.

He added that "99.99% was beyond my wildest dreams.”

Virgin Galactic shares at last check were 2.2% lower at $32.34.