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Aisha Bowe: First Black Woman Confirmed to Fly With Blue Origin

Bowe Is Expected To Be The Sixth Black Woman To Cross The Kármán Line

Former NASA rocket scientist, founder, and CEO Aisha Bowe is manifested on a future flight of New Shepard.

She is the first Black woman confirmed to travel on a commercial flight to space with Blue Origin, the private spaceflight company founded by Jeff Bezos. New Shepard is a reusable suborbital rocket system named after astronaut Alan Shepard, the first American to go to 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.”

Bowe is expected to be the sixth Black woman to cross the Kármán line, the internationally recognized boundary of space. Her flight is announced 30 years after former NASA astronaut Mae Jemison became the first Black woman to travel to space in 1992. Since Jemison, there are only four other Black women who carry that distinction: NASA astronauts Stephanie Wilson, Joan Higginbotham, Jessica Watkins, and Dr. Sian Proctor of the SpaceX Inspiration4 Mission.

“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.”

Bowe, the child of working-class parents in Ann Arbor, Michigan, always loved science fiction and math. Advised to study cosmetology by a high school guidance counselor, she instead chose a different path. Bowe elected to study mathematics at Washtenaw Community College in Ann Arbor before transferring to the University of Michigan earning both an undergraduate and master’s degree in aerospace engineering. She has worked for NASA as a rocket scientist and served as U.S State Department global speaker, inspiring students around the world.

FMI: www.blueorigin.com

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