Alumna Powers will fly to space on Blue Origin launch
AAE alumna Audrey Powers is going to space.
Powers (BSAAE ’99) will fly on board Blue Origin’s New Shepard NS-18, scheduled to launch Oct. 13.
Powers is the company’s vice president of mission & flight operations. She’ll be joined by three other crewmates, a Blue Origin release said.
“I have wanted to fly in space since birth,” Powers said in a video released by Blue Origin. “I have wanted to fly everything that moves.
“I’m really excited to have been given the opportunity to fly on New Shepard at our next launch.”
Liftoff is targeted for 9:30 a.m. from Launch Site One in West Texas. Blue Origin will livestream the event on BlueOrigin.com.
Powers, who joined Blue Origin in 2013, oversees all New Shepard flight operations, vehicle maintenance, and launch, landing and ground support infrastructure. She played a key role in the multi-year process to certify New Shepard for human flight, the company said. Blue Origin successfully completed its first human flight in July 2021 with four private citizens onboard New Shepard.
Prior to leading New Shepard’s Mission and Flight Operations team, Powers served as deputy general counsel and vice president of legal & compliance for Blue Origin. In that role, Powers handled a wide variety of legal matters, including regulatory affairs, legislative and policy matters, supplier and customer negotiations and management, maritime law, crisis response, and legal operations and team building.
Powers worked as an engineer for about 10 years prior to becoming a lawyer. As a guidance and controls engineer, she was a flight controller for NASA with 2,000 hours of console time in Mission Control for the International Space Station Program. While supporting government satellite programs for Lockheed Martin, Powers received a Juris Doctor in 2008 from Santa Clara University School of Law.
Powers was selected as an Outstanding Aerospace Engineer, the highest honor bestowed by AAE to its alumni. She didn’t attend the event Oct. 7 as part of the seven-member 2021 class because of the impending launch, but she’ll be honored in the spring with the Class of 2022.
“This is one of the great honors of my career,” Powers said of the OAE. “I am fortunate enough to work with two other OAE recipients and am speechless to be considered in the same category as them and the other great recipients of this award.”