July 20, 2021
Starry sky above UCF's campus

Amy Foster, associate professor of history, was featured in a Rolling Stone piece about the 60-year journey of trailblazing aviator Wally Funk. Today, the 82-year-old pilot became the oldest person to journey to space when she traveled alongside Jeff Bezos on the Blue Origin New Shepard rocket.

In the 1960s, Wally Funk was one of NASA’s “Mercury 13,” a select group of women who participated in the same medical and psychological tests given to the first astronaut candidates in the country — all of whom were men. Foster explains the history behind this program, as well as the significance of Funk’s journey to space today: “The fact that this is a woman in her 80s getting a chance [to travel to space] is pretty extraordinary, and talks about not only her persistence, but also the changing ideas of aging,” she says.

Read the full story in Rolling Stone.