African-American NASA Astronaut Jeanette Epps Removed From Space Mission

The first Black person to live on the International Space Station (ISS) was supposed to embark on the trip in 2018. Unfortunately, it will not happen. NASA astronaut Jeanette Epps was en route to becoming the first African-American crew member on the ISS this year, but NASA announced Thursday (Jan. 18) that she was removed from the mission for unclear reasons.

Jeanette Epps was supposed to launch as part of Expedition 56/67 in June 2018.

When NASA called on astronauts for their 2009 class it resulted in them receiving 3,500 applications. NASA eventually narrowed the number down to 14 with one of the candidates being Epps. Jeanette Epps was to be the first African-American crew member to live and work on the station for an extended period of time. The flight crew, excluding Epps, plans to spend at least six months at the International Space Station.

Epps was born in Syracuse. After high school she went on to 11 more years of schooling, beginning at Le Moyne College. She graduated with a degree in physics in 1992. She eventually earned her doctorate in aerospace engineering from the University of Maryland. She even worked seven years at the CIA as a technical intelligence officer.

Epps was inspired to become an astronaut from an early age, when she saw the first group of American women who were chosen to fly to space.

“It was about 1980, I was nine years old. My brother came home and he looked at my grades and my twin sisters’ grades and he said, ‘You know, you guys can probably become aerospace engineers or even astronauts,'” Epps said in a video interview. “And this was at the time that Sally Ride and a group of women were selected to become astronauts — the first time in history. So, he made that comment and I said, ‘Wow, that would be so cool.'”

According to NASA, Epps will be positioned into an office job for the Astronaut Corps at the Johnson Space Center located in Houston, TX. She will be replaced by NASA astronaut Serena Auñón-Chancellor. Auñón-Chancellor was one of the 14 astronaut candidates that NASA selected out of 3,500 applicants in 2009.

Other African-American astronauts have visited the Space Station, including Leland Melvin who encouraged Epps to apply for NASA’s 2009 class.

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Kilien St. Jacques

My name is kIlien, and I am an IT professional. The founder of Negus Computers & Robotics. When I'm not messing around with technology I'm enjoying urban entertainment. Site:

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