NASA has assigned Jeanette Epps to NASA’s Boeing Starliner-1 mission, the first operational crewed flight of Boeing’s CST-100 Starliner spacecraft.
By World Israel News Staff
NASA astronaut Jeanette Epps will make history. She will be the first black female astronaut to join as a crew member of the International Space Station (ISS).
NASA has assigned Jeanette Epps to NASA’s Boeing Starliner-1 mission, the first operational crewed flight of Boeing’s CST-100 Starliner spacecraft on a mission to the International Space Station.
Epps posted a video on Twitter saying she was “super-excited” to be joining the mission.
Epps will join NASA astronauts Sunita Williams and Josh Cassada for a six-month expedition planned for a launch in 2021 to the orbiting space laboratory. NASA says six black Americans have visited the ISS but none for an extended period of time.
Epps had been slated to join a June 2018 mission but was scratched from that mission in favor of another astronaut.
The spaceflight will be the first for Epps, who earned a bachelor’s degree in physics in 1992 from LeMoyne College in her hometown of Syracuse, New York. She completed a master’s degree in science in 1994 and a doctorate in aerospace engineering in 2000, both from the University of Maryland, College Park.
While earning her doctorate, Epps was a NASA Graduate Student Researchers Project fellow, authoring several journal and conference articles on her research. After completing graduate school, she worked in a research laboratory for more than two years, co-authoring several patents, before the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) recruited her.
She spent seven years as a CIA technical intelligence officer before her selection as a member of the 2009 astronaut class.
— Jeanette J. Epps (@Astro_Jeanette) August 25, 2020
NASA’s Commercial Crew Program is working with the American aerospace industry as companies develop and operate a new generation of spacecraft and launch systems capable of carrying crews to low-Earth orbit and to the space station. Commercial transportation to and from the station will provide expanded utility, additional research time and broader opportunities for discovery on the orbital outpost.
“As commercial companies focus on providing human transportation services to and from low-Earth orbit, NASA will concentrate its focus on building spacecraft and rockets for deep-space missions,” NASA said.