NASA Pulls Astronaut From Upcoming ISS Mission

Dr Epps was to have been the main African-American astronaut appointed to the space station group.

The agency announced that Jeanette Epps, who was scheduled to make history as a member of the Expedition 56/57 crew, scheduled to launch in June, was removed from that specific mission to the International Space Station. No explanation for the unexpected crew shuffle was given.

"Epps has returned to the active astronaut corps at Johnson Space Center to assume duties in the astronaut office", Dean added.

NASA didn't cite a reason for replacing her but said she would be considered for other missions in the future, the station reported.

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

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Looking to Advertise? Contact the Crusader for more information. She would have flown aboard a scheduled Russian Soyuz flight in June, but is now being replaced by another astronaut.

African-American astronauts have visited the space station, but Epps would have been the first to live there. Since completing her training she's worked on various NASA operations and further training while awaiting mission assignment.

Epps earned her doctorate in aerospace engineering from the University of Maryland in 2000.

She was a technical intelligence officer for seven years, including deployment to Iraq, before NASA selected her as a member of its 2009 astronaut class. Dr Auñón-Chancellor beforehand spent over nine months in Russian Federation supporting therapeutic operations for space station team individuals.

  • Toni Ryan