The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) on 4 January 2017 announced the assignment of veteran astronaut Andrew Feustel and first-flight astronaut Jeanette Epps to missions aboard the International Space Station in 2018.
With this, Epps will become the first African-American space station crew member when she launches on her first spaceflight in May 2018.
Feustel will launch in March 2018 for his first long-duration mission. He will serve as a flight engineer on Expedition 55. Later, he will be assigned as commander on Expedition 56.
On the other hand, Epps will join Feustel as a flight engineer on Expedition 56, and remain on board for Expedition 57.
About Jeanette Epps
• Jeanette Epps was selected by NASA in 2009 as an astronaut.
• In 1992, she earned a bachelor’s degree in physics from LeMoyne College. In 1994, she obtained a master’s of science. In 2000, she earned a doctorate in aerospace engineering from the University of Maryland.
• After completing graduate school, she worked in a research laboratory for more than two years. She co-authored several patents and was later recruited by the Central Intelligence Agency.
• She served as a CIA technical intelligence officer for seven years before being selected as a member of the 2009 astronaut class.