NASA astronaut Jeanette Epps makes history as first Black woman to join International Space Station

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NASA astronaut Jeanette Epps is set to make history as the first Black woman to crew the International Space Station (ISS).

According to a press release, NASA announced Epps will join NASA astronauts Sunita Williams and Josh Cassada on a six-month expedition to the ISS planned for launch in 2021.

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The trip will be Epps’ first spaceflight, and according to the NY Daily News, the journey will make “the 49-year-old aerospace engineer of Syracuse, N.Y. the first Black woman to live and work aboard the station for a long-duration mission.”

Epps shared a video through her Twitter feed about joining the first operational crewed flight of Boeing’s CST-100 Starliner mission.

“Jeanette is a fantastic addition to the Starliner-1 team as we continue to #LaunchAmerica,” tweeted NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine.

A former CIA technical intelligence officer, Epps was previously scheduled to travel to the ISS in 2018 only to be removed from the mission under mysterious circumstances.

“I don’t know where the decision came from and how it was made, in detail, or at what level,” Epps told Space.com.

Epps was also a NASA Graduate Student Researchers Project fellow, and has authored several journals and articles on her work.

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