Pioneering Female Aviator Wally Funk Receives 2022 Michael Collins Trophy for Lifetime Achievement
By NASA information center // March 27, 2022
Funk oldest person to travel to space at age 82
(NASA) – Wally Funk was honored with the 2022 Michael Collins Trophy for Lifetime Achievement on Thursday at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum’s Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, Virginia.
The Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum’s Michael Collins Trophy recognizes extraordinary accomplishments in aeronautics and spaceflight.
Funk was a member of the First Lady Astronaut Trainees (FLATs, also known as the “Mercury 13”). These seven women who once aspired to fly into space stand outside LaunchPad 39B near the Space Shuttle Discovery in the below photograph from 1995.
The so-called Mercury 13 was a group of women who trained to become astronauts for America’s first human spaceflight program in the early 1960s. Although FLATs was never an official NASA program, the commitment of these women paved the way for others who followed.
In July 2021 after a lifetime of groundbreaking achievements, an 82-year-old Funk finally traveled to space aboard Blue Origin, becoming the oldest person to travel to space.
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