Thursday, September 16, 2021

Grapevine to celebrate hometown hero Wally Funk for Blue Origin flight

The city of Grapevine will hold a parade and community celebration in honor of Grapevine resident and hometown hero Wally Funk, who became the oldest person to launch into space last week on Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin New Shepard suborbital space tourism rocket.

Funk is among the so-called Mercury 13 women who went through astronaut training in the 1960s, but never made it to space — or even NASA’s astronaut corps — because they were female. Back then, all of the NASA astronauts were military test pilots and male. At age 82, Funk became the oldest person to launch into space aboard on the July 20 Blue Origin flight, which took Funk, Bezos, his brother and an 18-year-old to an altitude of about 66 miles before touching down in West Texas 10 minutes after takeoff.

The city will celebrate Funk for her history-making experience with a parade along Historic Main Street on Saturday, Aug. 7, followed by a presentation by aviation leaders, peers and local elected officials, according to a city news release. The parade will start at noon and head south from Wall Street toward Dallas Road, culminating on Peace Plaza at Grapevine Main Station, 815 South Main St.

Mark Smith
Mark Smith is the Digital Editor of The Cross Timbers Gazette.

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