Decades after the first people went to space, private companies are now offering opportunities for ordinary people to visit space. So far, however, ordinary people can’t afford space travel: The prices are so high that only the superrich can afford a ticket to the stars. Audrey Powers, however, is a notable exception.
Audrey Powers experienced space for ten minutes as a guest of the Jeff Bezoz-owned aerospace manufacturer, Blue Origin. Powers has worked at Blue Origin for eight years. In May 2021, she earned a promotion to Vice President, New Shepard Mission & Flight Operations.
Let’s find out more about Audrey Powers.
Audrey Powers fulfilled a lifelong dream by being in Blue Origin’s second flight to space
Audrey Powers finally got to fulfill a lifelong dream by flying to space on Blue Origin’s New Shepard NS-18. The flight forms part of Blue Origin’s vision to ‘enable a future where millions of people are living and working in space to benefit Earth.’
Powers’ parents fueled her curiosity about space by organizing regular visits to the National Air and Space Museum. Audrey stated that her elementary school showed videos of space launches:
“My elementary school was so great about us all watching the shuttle launches together in class. They would roll the TV into the classroom on one of those metal carts and we would watch the launches. I wondered what it would be like to try to find where I lived floating up there in a spacesuit.”
One of her teachers at Mount de Sales Academy, Pat Bettridge, talked to CBS Baltimore about her pride at Audrey’s achievement. “She did it and I am so happy for her,” Pat said. “She was an outstanding intellect, as a student as an athlete. I keep thinking back to when she was 13 and said I want to be an astronaut.”
Audrey graduated from Mount de Sales Academy in 1994. The community around the school came together to watch their alumna launch into space. “I am so excited for her,” Julie Gilles, a fellow 1994 candidate, told WBAL TV. “This is everything she ever wanted. A dream come true.”
“Opportunity for Audrey, but it’s a great opportunity for us to show role models like her for our students to see and to aspire to,” Sister Mary Raymond, principal of Mount de Sales, added.
Actor William Shatner, Chris Boshuizen and Glen de Vries joined Audrey Powers on Blue Origin’s second launch to space. The four reached close to 350,000ft on a trip that lasted about ten minutes.
Audrey studied engineering and law before joining Blue Origin
Audrey Powers graduated from Purdue University with a degree in Aeronautical Engineering in 1999. She worked with United Space Alliance before joining Santa Clara University to study law.
After spending several years in private practice, Audrey joined Blue Origin, where she’s scaled to ladder to Vice President and to space.
Per Club of Future, Audrey leads diversity efforts at Blue Origin. “I’m so proud and humbled to fly on behalf of Team Blue, and I’m excited to continue writing Blue’s human spaceflight history,” she said.