Nasa removes Black US astronaut from Space Station mission

Federico Mansilla
Enero 22, 2018

Astronaut Jeanette Epps was supposed to rocket away in early June, and would have been the first African-American to live on the International Space Station.

"A number of factors are considered when making flight assignments; these decisions are personnel matters, for which NASA doesn't provide information", USA space agency spokeswoman Brandi Dean said in an email to AFP on Friday.

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. She was set to board a Russian Soyuz flight in June but will now be replaced by a another astronaut.

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

There, she worked as a technical intelligence officer for seven years, with time spent in Iraq. Later she was chosen as a member of NASA's 2009 astronaut class.

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She went on to say, "When people come back from space, I see how much they want to go again".

Epps, an engineer, will be considered for future space missions, according to NASA.

She has been replaced by her backup, Serena Aunon-Chancellor.

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

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