Culmination of a great week of training in Star City. pic.twitter.com/gUU1y319fM— Jeanette J. Epps, PhD (@Astro_Jeanette) December 10, 2016
Astronaut Jeanette Epps will officially become the first African-American to board the International Space Station when the mission takes flight in May 2018. NASA announced the news on their official website, acknowledging Jeanette's previous work as a CIA technical intelligence officer and as a member of the 2009 astronaut class. Jeanette will be joined by fellow astronaut Andrew Feustel as a flight engineer on Expedition 56 and remain on board for Expedition 57.
In the press release, Chris Cassidy, chief of the Astronaut Office at NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston shared why he feels Jeanette, who has a PhD in aerospace engineering, and Andrew are both more than equipped to join the crew. "Each space station crew brings something different to the table, and Drew and Jeanette both have a lot to offer. The space station will benefit from having them on board."
Congrats are in order to Jeanette, Andrew and NASA for making such a historic move!