Published: Fri, January 19, 2018
Sci-tech | By Carrie Guzman

First black female assigned to International Space Station pulled from mission

First black female assigned to International Space Station pulled from mission

Epps, a Corcoran High School and Le Moyne College graduate, was set to become the first African American crew member on the International Space Station, according to sources.

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.

"A number of factors are considered when making flight assignments; these decisions are personnel matters, for which NASA doesn't provide information", Dean said.

Epps was to have launched to the ISS from Baikonur, Kazakhstan, alongside astronaut Alexander Gerst from the German European Space Agency (Esa) and the flight's commander, Russian cosmonaut Sergei Prokopev on Expedition 56/57.

NASA announced in a statement late Thursday that Serena Aunon-Chancellor, who was initially meant to fly on a later mission, will launch in June instead of Epps.

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On January 12, Trump threatened to pull out of the deal unless it is changed to clearly prohibit ballistic-missile development, among other changes he is seeking.

It looks like NASA's Jeanette Epps won't be joining the International Space Station crew, after all. Astronauts have been removed from missions in the past, mostly for health reasons.

The space agency says Epps "will return to NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston to assume duties in the Astronaut Office and be considered for assignment to future missions".

Jeanette Epps, born in Syracuse, completed a doctorate in aerospace engineering in 2000. It's now undecided whether Epps, who was the flight engineer for Expedition 56/57, will be a crew member on another ISS mission in the future.

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. After graduation, she worked in a laboratory before the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) recruited her.

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