Former NASA Rocket Scientist Confirmed as First Black Woman To Travel To Space With Jeff Bezos’ Private Spaceflight Company
It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure it out—actually, yes, it does.
Former NASA rocket scientist Aisha Bowe announced she would become the first Black woman confirmed to travel to space with Blue Origin, a private spaceflight company founded by Jeff Bezos.
According to Aero-News Network, Bowe is predicted to be the sixth Black woman to cross the Kármán line, a boundary between Earth’s atmosphere and outer space.
“Today’s historic announcement about my flight is both surreal and emotional,” said Bowe.
“I’m thrilled, I’m excited, and I know that this experience will change my life forever.”
Her flight reportedly follows 30 years after NASA astronaut Mae Jemison made history as the first Black woman to travel to space in 1992 and four other Black women astronauts for NASA, including Stephanie Wilson, Joan Higginbotham, Jessica Watkins, and Dr. Sian Proctor of the SpaceX Inspiration4 Mission.
I’m going to space!
As the first Black woman confirmed to fly with @BlueOrigin on #NewShepard, I am expected to be the sixth Black woman to cross the Kármán line – the internationally recognized boundary of space! pic.twitter.com/fYml4TLrPP
— Aisha Bowe (@arbowe) October 27, 2022
According to a statement on her website, Bowe is set to fly on New Shepard, a reusable suborbital rocket system named after Alan Shepard, the first American astronaut to travel to space.
Although she was advised by a high school guidance counselor to study cosmetology, Bowe has always been a lover of science fiction and math. Aero-News reported that Bowe studied mathematics at Washtenaw Community College in Ann Arbor, Michigan, before pursuing her undergraduate and master’s degrees at the University of Michigan in aerospace engineering.
“I’ve dedicated my life to helping people break stereotypes,” said Bowe.
“I am honored to follow in the footsteps of these pioneers as we begin to realize the potential of public access to space.”
In addition to her experience as a rocket scientist, Bowe is the founder and CEO of STEMBoard, a tech company. She raised $2 million in venture capital to fund LINGO, a self-paced coding kit for students, and served as a U.S. State Department global speaker. In addition, Bowe serves on her alma mater’s Aerospace Department Industry Advisory Board.