A MYSTERIOUS bidder who paid $28million to travel on Jeff Bezos' Blue Origin rocket ship is now too busy to take the trip.
The anonymous ticket-holder was forced to cancel due to "scheduling conflicts," Blue Origin said in its latest announcement.
Instead, they'll be replaced by 18-year-old Oliver Daeman, a recent high school graduate.
The identity of the successful bidder, who paid $28million, has remained a tight-lipped secret even as launch date was fast approaching.
That person will “remain anonymous at this time”, Blue Origin said in its new announcement.
They said the lucky traveller had "chosen to fly on a future New Shepard mission due to scheduling conflicts".
Newcomer Oliver will be the youngest person in space and will join 82-year-old Wally Funk, who is set to be the oldest ever astronaut.
They'll join Bezos and his brother Mark on a voyage across space on the New Shepard rocket.
The company has refused to say how much it's youngest member paid for his ticket, though it's understood the teen's father, who runs a private equity firm, took part in the auction which secured his son's ticket, the Telegraph reports.
Oliver is a 2020 high school graduate who took a year off before going back to school to obtain his private pilot's license.
The young astronaut will be attending the University of Utrecht in the Netherlands starting September 2021 to study physics and innovation management.
According to the Blue Origin website, Daemen has been fascinated by all things space since he was 4-years-old.
This marks the beginning of commercial operations for New Shepard, and Oliver represents a new generation of people who will help us build a road to space
Proceeds from the sale of Blue Origin tickets have gone to Club for the Future, a non-for-profit that promotes projects aimed to supporting life and work in place.
Up to 19 different organizations received received $1million each.
"We thank the auction winner for their generous support of Club for the Future and are honored to welcome Oliver to fly with us on New Shepard,” said Bob Smith, CEO of Blue Origin.
“This marks the beginning of commercial operations for New Shepard, and Oliver represents a new generation of people who will help us build a road to space.”
Blue Origin will take off on July 20 and take a short flight up to space before coming back down to the ground, becoming the first commercial spaceflight to do so.
This comes after billionaire Sir Richard Branson made history at the weekend after successfully reaching the edge of space in his commercial Virgin Galactic spaceplane.
The vehicle, called VSS Unity, soared into the air from New Mexico strapped to a carrier aircraft before detaching and blasting 50 miles above Earth.
Ahead of the flight, Virgin Galactic copped some flack from Blue Origin, which claimed the voyage didn't truly count because it didn't reach the so-called Karman Line.
That's the internationally recognised boundary of space about 62 miles above Earth.
Sir Richard's craft only maxed out at an altitude of 50 miles – the edge of space as defined by Nasa.
Writing on Twitter last Friday, Blue Origin dismissed Unity as nothing more than a "high altitude airplane" that doesn't even technically reach space.
Speaking to The Sun, Sir Richard said his response to the remarks was to "simply ignore them".
"I have my astronaut wings," he said. "Nasa, who are the global authority on this, have always recognised 50 miles as the boundary of space. These are the rules we work under.
"Blue Origin's initial spaceship may do a handful or two handfuls of seconds more in space than us, but our future spaceship will do the same."
He added: "It really makes no difference to the overall experience that people have.
Blue Origin is a company founded and own by Bezos after he used share sales from his Amazon stock to fund the company back in 2000.
Since then, the billionaire and his company has been working to build a road to space so that in the future, millions of people will be able to live and work in the atmosphere.
As stated on their website, one of the company's visions is to also preserve Earth.
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