Black Experience

Jeanette J. Epps to Make History as the First Black Astronaut to Board the International Space Station

Aerospace engineer and NASA astronaut Jeanette J. Epps is on the path to making history in space.

As noted by the A. James Clark School of Engineering (University of Maryland), “Epps was selected in July 2009 as 1 of 14 members of the 20th NASA astronaut class.”

“She has been assigned to her first spaceflight, Expedition 56/57, scheduled to launch in May 2018 to the International Space Station.

Her training included scientific and technical briefings, intensive instruction in International Space Station systems, spacewalk training, robotics, T-38 flight training and wilderness survival training. (University of Maryland)”

With this achievement, she will make history as the first Black astronaut to board the International Space Station.

Previous work by Epps includes her role as a Technical Intelligence Officer for the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).

She joined in 2002 and spent over 7 years working there, where she received the Exceptional Performance Award in 2003, 2004 and 2008.

The University of Maryland reported that “Dr. Epps is the first Ph.D. graduate of the University of Maryland’s Dept. of Aerospace Engineering to become a NASA Astronaut.”

“The NASA mission has always inspired me because I have a great desire to help further our understanding of the world we live in and the universe.

I pursued a career in science and technology in an effort to contribute.

I also have a desire to encourage young students to pursue careers in science and help contribute because I believe everyone can help and has a part to play!” – Jeanette J. Epps, NASA


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