Earlier this month, on November 10, it was Audrey Powers Day in Kent. Audrey Powers Day was declared in 2021 by Kent Mayor Dana Ralph in honor of Audrey Powers, the Vice President of New Shepard Mission and Flight Operations at Blue Origin.
Powers was the first Blue Origin employee to enter a suborbital flight on the NS-18. According to the Blue Origin website, "New Shepard is [a] reusable suborbital rocket system designed to take astronauts and research payloads past the Kármán line – the internationally recognized boundary of space." Powers helps oversee the New Shepard flight program at Blue Origin and is also the executive sponsor of Blue Origin's New Mercury gender diversity business resources group, which is focused on diversity in the STEM fields.
Audrey stopped by Martin Sortun Elementary last week on Audrey Powers Day to speak with students about her experience in space and her pathway to space flight. Along with Audrey, Superintendent Israel Vela, Kent Mayor Dana Ralph, and school board members Tim Clark and Awale Farah were on hand to support and talk to students about the importance of STEM. Students got to ask Audrey questions about her journey to space and the steps they needed to take to be working in STEM fields.
Although students were excited to hear about Audrey and her journey, they were even more excited to hear that the postcards they designed would be flown up into space on the next New Shepard mission. Students showcased their designs and jumped for joy, knowing that something they created would be able to enter the vast infinity of space.
Thank you to Audrey Powers and Blue Origin for supporting our students' dreams in STEM! Every student left that day knowing that space is a possibility and that looking up into the stars is a world they can explore too.