NASA astronaut Jeanette Epps is set to become the first African-American crew member aboard the International Space Station (ISS) when she flies to the orbital post in May next year, the U.S. space agency said on Thursday.
NASA assigned veteran Andrew Feustel and Epps to missions aboard the ISS in 2018.
Feustel will launch in March 2018 for his first long-duration mission, serving as a flight engineer on Expedition 55 and later as commander of Expedition 56.
Epps will join Feustel as a flight engineer on Expedition 56 and remain on board for Expedition 57.
“Each space station crew brings something different to the table, and Drew and Jeanette both have a lot to offer. The space station will benefit from having them on board,” said Chris Cassidy, chief of the Astronaut Office at NASA’s Johnson Space Centre in Houston.
Epps earned a bachelor’s degree in physics in 1992 at LeMoyne College in her hometown of Syracuse, New York.
She went on to complete a master’s of science in 1994 and a doctorate in 2000 in aerospace engineering from the University of Maryland.
While earning her doctorate, Epps was a NASA Graduate Student Researchers Project fellow, authoring several journal and conference articles on her research. Continue reading