NASA bumps astronaut off June spaceflight in rare move

Jan 20, 2018, 03:42
NASA bumps astronaut off June spaceflight in rare move

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

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.

Astronaut Jeanette Epps, scheduled for launch to the International Space Station in June, has been replaced in an unexpected crew shuffle.

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A release from NASA said that Epps would be replaced by Serena Auñón-Chancellor who was originally scheduled to go to the ISS on Expedition 58/59.

It would have been the NY native's first trip to space, and the first long-duration stay at the orbiting outpost by an African-American. NASA assigned her to the flight a year ago.

"Before being selected as an astronaut, she spent more than nine months in Russian Federation supporting medical operations for space station crew members, including water survival training in the Ukraine, and served as the deputy lead for medical operations for NASA's Orion spacecraft".

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Epps, an engineer who has been training in Russian Federation for the flight, will be considered for future missions.

Epps got a doctorate in aerospace engineering in 2000, worked in a lab and was later recruited by the Central Intelligence Agency, which sent her on deployments to Iraq.

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. Space station crews typically stay for five to six months.

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