Astronaut Slated To Be First African-American ISS Crew Member Unexpectedly Grounded

The seasoned aerospace engineer was on track to launch as part of Expedition 56/57 this summer.

Instead she will take on duties at Johnson Space Center.

Nasa has not given an explanation behind pulling back her but rather says she will be considered for future missions.

"A number of factors are considered when making flight assignments".

NASA selected Syracuse, New York-born Epps as an astronaut in 2009, and the May spaceflight would have been her first.

Six other African-American astronauts have traveled to the space station, but those were shorter missions during the space shuttle era when the ISS was being assembled.

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NASA's announcement of Epps joining the crew went viral back in 2017.

Dr Epps was due to launch to the orbiting outpost from Baikonur, Kazakhstan, along with the German European Space Agency (Esa) astronaut Alexander Gerst and the flight's commander, Russian cosmonaut Sergei Prokopev.

Her substitution, Serena Auñón-Chancellor, is a restorative specialist from Fort Collins, Colorado.

"While earning her doctorate, Epps was a NASA Graduate Student Researchers Project fellow, authoring several journal and conference articles on her research", according to her NASA biography.

She filled in as a specialized knowledge officer for a long time before being chosen as an individual from Nasa's 2009 space explorer class. She graduated from Corcoran in 1988 and went on to 11 1/2 more years of schooling, beginning at Le Moyne College.

As of November, Epps and her crewmates were training and preparing for their launch that was originally scheduled for April and later moved to June. "Lastly, I'd like to thank the prime crew for all the great insights and all the great information you've given us". "So I chose to become an engineer, and through that route I made it into the astronaut corps".

(Copyright © 2015. All Rights Reserved.)
 
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