Jeff Bezos grants Nasa-rejected astronaut his 60-year-old dream

Air Force Captain who almost became first Black US astronaut gets what he really needed

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Web Desk
Retired Air Force captain visits space for first time 60 years after being rejected by Nasa. — News Center 1

Jeff Bezos's Blue Origin on Sunday granted the dream of an astronaut who was denied a chance of flying to space by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).

Ed Dwight, 90, finally reached space aboard the New Shepard rocket after being turned down by Nasa 60 years ago from Blue Origin's launch site in West Texas.

The capsule blasted off the ground at 9:36am CT taking NS-25, Blue Origin's seventh crewed flight, to space with six passengers aboard, including Dwight.

The retired Air Force captain almost became the United State's first Black astronaut after being recommended for Nasa by late US president John F Kennedy in 1961.

Dwight was recommended to Nasa by US president John F Kennedy. — NBC News via National Geographic

Dwight passed the initial round of training at the Aerospace Research Pilot School at Edwards Air Force Base but wasn't selected. 

After retiring from the Air Force in 1966, he earned a master of fine arts degree and worked as a sculptor out of his own studio in Denver.

"I thought I didn't need it in my life," Dwight said after the capsule returned to the Earth's surface at 9:46am CT. "But I lied. I really, really did need it. It's a life-changing experience. Everybody needs to do this."

Retired Air Force captain becomes oldest person to travel to space. — AFP/File

Dwight along with his crewmates experienced about three minutes of weightlessness and the dramatic view of Earth from outer space during the 10-minute suborbital trip.

He is now the oldest person ever to fly to outer space, narrowly beating out former "Star Trek" actor William Shatner by a few months.