Photo Credit: Aisha Bowe Twitter
Meet The First Black Woman Confirmed To Fly To Space With Jeff Bezos' Private Spaceflight Company
Former NASA rocket scientist Aisha Bowe is the first Black woman confirmed to travel on a commercial flight to space with Blue Origin. BO is a private spaceflight company founded by Jeff Bezos.
“Today’s historic announcement about my flight is both surreal and emotional,” said Bowe in an official statement. “I’m thrilled, I’m excited, and I know that this experience will change my life forever,” she added. However, the date for the spacecraft flight has not been disclosed yet.
Bowe is expected to be the sixth Black woman to cross the Kármán line, an arbitrary line attempting to mark the boundary between the atmosphere and outer 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.”
Child of working-class parents
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.
Bowe is also an accomplished serial entrepreneur. Recognized on Inc.’s fifth annual Female Founders 100 list, honoring a bold group of 100 women whose innovations and ideas are shaping the world into a better place, Bowe is the founder and CEO of STEMBoard, an award-winning tech company ranked on the Inc. 5000 list of fastest growing companies in America. She also shares the distinction of being one of a select group of women of color who have raised over $1 million in funding.
Bowe’s venture-backed LINGO, a hands-on, self-paced coding kit that enables students to learn how to code at home is sold on Amazon, Target and Walmart.