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‘Stephens family’ celebrates alumna Wally Funk’s launch to space

COLUMBIA, Mo. (KMIZ)

When Jeff Bezos' Blue Origin rocket lifted off Tuesday morning, a Stephens College alumna became the oldest person to ever travel to outer space.

Watch a playback of the ABC News Special Report on the launch below.

Wally Funk attended Stephens College's Aviation Program at age 16. According to a news release from the college, Funk went on to become the youngest graduate of the Women in Space Program, also known as "the Mercury 13."

Wally Funk, 82, became the oldest person to travel to space Tuesday.

However, NASA continued to limit its space travel program to military test pilots, a position restricted to men, until 1983. After the acceptance of women into the program, Funk's application to the program was denied three times.

On Tuesday, Funk's dream of more than 75 years became reality. At 82 years old, she was on board the Blue Origin for its successful space flight.

Funk's "Stephens College family" held a watch party on campus to view the launch. Dozens of people were in attendance, many dressed in maroon shirts that read "Girls who go to space begin at Stephens.”

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Molly Stawinoga

Molly Stawinoga is ABC 17’s weekday morning anchor and a reporter at ABC 17 News. Molly joined the news team in 2017 while studying political science, journalism and Spanish at the University of Missouri. She is originally from DeKalb, Illinois.

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Meghan Drakas

Meghan joined ABC 17 News in January 2021.
The Penn State grad is from the Philadelphia suburbs where she interned with several local TV stations.

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