Jeff Bazos may have createad the Blue Origin, but Wally Funk traveled with him at age 82. She became the oldest woman to go into space that day, but Wally was not unfamiliar with the space program.
At 16 years old, Funk enrolled in the aviation program at Stephens College and became a part of the “Flying Susies.” Three years after graduating, she volunteered for the “Women in Space” program and became the youngest member of Mercury 13. While the women endured—and excelled at—the same tests as the men, the Mercury 13 program was canceled when it was announced only men would be going to space.
She continued to break barriers with her career even as she dreamed of being able to go to space. She was the first female air safety investigator for the National Transportation Safety Board, the first female civilian flight instructor at Fort Sill, and she was the first female Federal Aviation Agency inspector.
One of the first minority women working at NASA, who made history was Katherine Johnson. Katherine was an extremely intelligent mathematician. It is no wonder that Wally was inspired in her career by Katherine.