The sky’s the limit: Aisha Bowe manifested to head to space

Bahamian Aisha Bowe is manifested to head to space on a future Blue Origin’s New Shephard flight.

Bowe, a former NASA rocket scientist, and founder and CEO of STEMBoard, a tech company, is anticipating becoming the sixth Black woman to cross the Kármán Line – the internationally recognized boundary of space – and the first to fly on Blue Origin’s New Shephard to space.

Bowe is also the first Black woman confirmed to travel on a commercial flight to space with Blue Origin, the private spaceflight company founded by Jeff Bezos.

“I’m thrilled, I’m excited, and I know that this experience will change my life forever,” said Bowe who was born and raised in Michigan, but proudly proclaims her Bahamian heritage.

She will fly on New Shephard, a reusable suborbital rocket system named after astronaut Alan Shephard, the first American to go space.

Bowe’s flight announcement comes 30 years after former NASA astronaut Mae Jemison became the first Black woman to travel to space in 1992. Since then, 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 am honored to follow the footsteps of these incredible women. I can’t wait to fly on a future flight of Blue Origin’s New Shephard,” said Bowe.

“I’ve dedicated my life to helping people break stereotypes. I am honored to follow in the footsteps of these pioneers as we begin to realize the potential of public access to space.”

Bowe tweeted on October 27, that she will be the first Black woman confirmed to fly with Blue Origin on New Shephard.

Shephard launches from the high West Texas desert. On the approximate 11-minute flight, passengers travel over three times the speed of sound to pass the Kármán Line at 62 miles, float weightless for several minutes, and witness life-changing views of Earth before descending gently under parachutes. There are six seats in the New Shephard capsule. Every passenger gets their own window seat for unprecedented views of Earth. The windows comprise over one third of the capsule’s surface area.

Passengers fully train for flight in just two days. Passengers and crew meet the rocket up close, experience missions in the capsule simulator, and learn about safety and zero-g protocols for their weightless journey.

Blue Origin completed its first crewed flight on July 20, 2021. The crew included Bezos, and his brother, Mark Bezos, Wally Funk and Oliver Daemen.

Funk, then-82-years-old, became the oldest person to fly in space.

Daemen, 18, was the first ever commercial astronaut to purchase a ticket and fly to space on a privately-funded and licensed space vehicle from a private launch site. He also became the youngest person to fly in space.

New Shepard became the first commercial vehicle under a suborbital reusable launch vehicle license to fly paying customers, both payloads and astronauts to space and back.

The Bezos siblings became the first siblings to fly in space together.

The company has launched six crewed missions to date.

When Bowe takes to space, she will fly in New Shephard which is 100 percent reusable and fully autonomous. The high-performing engine runs clean with water vapor as the only exhaust, and no carbon emissions.

Bowe made history as the first Bahamian woman to work with NASA as an aerospace engineer.

She founded Hack IT Bahamas, a coding camp for students in grade nine through 12 to provide them with hands on experience. Bowe described Hack IT as an incredible opportunity for Bahamian youth, exposing them to a technology curriculum that challenges them to create startups that in some way will elevate and affect the Bahamian life.

Bowe has said that her LINGO Solution’s HackBahamas Camp is not just about math and science, and that they are explaining to teens how to use these skills in sports, music and song composition, and even teaching them the fundamentals of crypto, and showing them why they ought to be excited to work with companies that are right in The Bahamas that could use the talents.

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Shavaughn Moss

Shavaughn Moss joined The Nassau Guardian as a sports reporter in 1989. She was later promoted to sports editor. Shavaughn covered every major athletic championship from the CARIFTA to Central American and Caribbean Championships through to World Championships and Olympics. Shavaughn was appointed as the Lifestyles Editor a few years later.

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