Dienstag, 23. Januar 2018 - 07:30 Uhr
NASA Astronaut Jeanette Epps macht Geschichte im nächsten Jahr 2018
Earlier this week, NASA announced that for the first time ever, an African-American will call the international space station home.
According to an announcement posted to the administration’s website, Jeanette Epps will launch her first space flight in May 2018, making her the first Black space station crew member.
Epps, who will join veteran astronaut Andrew Feustel, will serve as a flight engineer on Expedition 56. Epps will also remain on board the station for Expedition 57.
“Each space station crew brings something different to the table, and Drew and Jeanette both have a lot to offer,” said Chris Cassidy, chief of the Astronaut Office at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston. “The space station will benefit from having them on board.”
Epps earned her bachelor’s degree in physics in 1992. She is a graduate of LeMoyne College in her hometown of Syracuse, New York. She went on to earn a master’s of science in 1994 and a doctorate in 2000 in aerospace engineering from the University of Maryland.
While earning her doctorate, Epps was a NASA Graduate Student Researchers Project fellow. She authored several journal and conference articles on her research. After completing graduate school, she went on to work in a research lab for more than two years, where she co-authored several patents before being recruited by the Central Intelligence Agency. She spent seven years as a CIA technical intelligence officer before being tapped to be a member of the 2009 astronaut class.
Epps will join a long list of distinguished astronauts who have crewed the International Space Station since the start of the millennium. Since 2000, more than 200 astronauts have visited the station, which enables us to demonstrate new technologies and make research breakthroughs not possible on Earth.
Quelle: JET Magazin
Corcoran HS alum Jeanette Epps one step closer to traveling to space
WASHINGTON -- Syracuse native Jeanette Epps is one step closer to traveling to space.
NASA announced this week that Epps will serve as an International Space Station crew member for Expeditions 56 and 57. Her role will be flight engineer.
Epps will become the first African-American crew member of an international space station expedition when she launches on her first spaceflight in May 2018.
Epps is a 1988 graduate of Corcoran High School. She grew up in Syracuse and attended Danforth and Clary schools as a child. She went on to 11 1/2 more years of schooling, including at Le Moyne College, where she graduated with a physics degree in 1992. Epps has worked as a CIA agent and an automobile engineer at Ford Motor Co.
Epps first revealed she would be traveling to space last year during a two-day visit to Syracuse for a science, technology, engineering and mathematics event at Danforth Middle School.
Epps has been working toward space travel since she was selected to NASA's 20th astronaut class in 2009. She was one of nine chosen from a group of 3,500 applicants.
She has since trained in underwater space walks, robotics, jet flying, wilderness survival, and Russian language.
Three of her colleagues aboard the space station will be Russian. Fellow American astronaut Andrew Feustel will be commander when she arrives. The sixth member of the crew right now is French, representing the European Space Agency.
Epps has recently visited "Star City" in Moscow for training.
Only a handful of people across the globe travel to space each year.
Epps and her crew will fly to the International Space Station aboard the Soyuz spacecraft when it departs from Kazahstan in May 2018. She will remain for about six months.
The first crew took up residence on the space station in November 2000. Since, about 200 have visited.
Astronaut set to be first African American on space station crew removed from flight
NASA astronaut Jeanette Epps, seen here in November 2017 at the Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center in Star City, Russia, has been removed from her scheduled expedition to the International Space Station in June 2018. (Andrey Shelepin/GCTC via NASA)
January 18, 2018
— A NASA astronaut who was slated to become the first African American to serve as a member of the crew aboard the International Space Station has been removed from her upcoming mission.
Jeanette Epps, who had been scheduled to launch to the space station in June for a five-month expedition has been replaced on the flight by another NASA astronaut, Serena Auñón-Chancellor, who was serving as Epps' backup.
NASA announced the crew change on Thursday (Jan. 18), stating that Epps will assume duties in the Astronaut Office at Johnson Space Center in Houston, and "be considered for assignment to future missions."
The reason for Epps' removal was not given. Brandi Dean, a NASA spokesperson, said that a number of factors were considered.
"These decisions are personnel matters for which NASA doesn't provide information,"
Jeanette Epps' July 2017 NASA portrait as a flight engineer on the Expedition 56 and Expedition 57 space station crews. (NASA)
Epps, 47, was chosen by NASA to train as an astronaut in 2009. In January 2017, the space agency announced that Epps would become the first African American station crew member, launching with two other crewmates on Russia's Soyuz MS-09 spacecraft. Once on the space station, Epps would serve as a flight engineer on both the Expedition 56 and Expedition 57 crews.
Six African-American astronauts — Robert Curbeam, Alvin Drew, Joan Higginbotham, Leland Melvin, Robert Satcher and Stephanie Wilson — previously visited the station on space shuttle missions to assemble and supply the orbiting laboratory, but Epps would have been the first to serve on the space station's resident crew.
The news of Epps' flight assignment quickly spread online, appearing on numerous websites and in news publications worldwide. Woman's Day featured Epps on the cover of its 80th birthday issue in September 2017.
"Next year, astronaut Jeanette Epps will add her name to an exclusive list of women who have traveled to space," Woman's Day reported at the time. "After almost a decade of training in robotics and the Russian language — so that she can communicate with the cosmonauts on her mission – she will become the first African American woman to live and work long-term at the International Space Station."
Prior to her space station assignment, Epps served on a panel focused on improving crew efficiency on the outpost. She also worked as a support crew member for two station expeditions and as a spacecraft communicator, or capcom, in mission control.
Most recently, Epps was assigned as backup to Norishige Kanai, an astronaut with the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), who lifted off to the space station on Dec. 17, where he is currently an Expedition 54 flight engineer.
"We together went through all trainings and examinations and all of the requirements. I am pretty sure your time will come pretty, pretty soon," said Kanai, addressing Epps at his pre-launch press conference.
Jeanette Epps, seen with her former crewmates Sergey Prokopyev (at center) and Alexander Gerst in December 2017 at the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. (Andrey Shelepin/GCTC via NASA)
Epps had been assigned to launch on Soyuz MS-09 with cosmonaut Sergey Prokopyev of Roscosmos and German astronaut Alexander Gerst of the European Space Agency (ESA). While on the space station, Epps would have also served with her fellow NASA astronauts Drew Feustel and Nick Hague, as well as three other Russian cosmonauts, Oleg Artemyev, Aleksei Ovchinin and Nikolai Tikhonov.
Prior to Epps being removed, Auñón-Chancellor had been assigned to the Soyuz MS-11 crew, slated to launch to the space station in November. NASA astronaut Anne McClain will now fill the seat vacated by Auñón-Chancellor.
Epps earned her bachelor's in physics in 1992 at LeMoyne College in her hometown of Syracuse, New York, prior to completing both her master's in science and a doctorate in aerospace engineering from the University of Maryland in 1994 and 2000, respectively.
She then joined the Ford Motor Company, working in their scientific research lab as a technical specialist on reducing vehicle vibrations and collision countermeasures. Her work resulted in her being granted two patents.
In 2002, she joined the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), where she worked as a technical intelligence officer before NASA chose her with its 20th astronaut class, achieving a lifelong dream.
The International Space Station's Expedition 56 and Expedition 57 crew patches will be updated to remove Jeanette Epps' name and replace it with Serena Auñón-Chancellor's. (NASA via cS)
"I did think about being an astronaut, but I never thought that they would take me," Epps said in December, replying to a young woman at a press conference who asked if she dreamed of being an astronaut as a child. "So I decided to become an engineer. Through that route I made it into the astronaut corps."
"I did a lot of studying — I went through graduate school, undergrad and graduate school — 11 years," Epps added. "I did a lot of work in school and then I worked for a motor company and then I worked for the government. I've been with NASA for about eight years or so. It is a long road."
NASA has pulled Jeanette Epps just months before her first flight
Epps would have been the first African-American crew member on board the ISS.
Jeanette Epps, left, served as a back-up crew member to Expedition 54 to the space station.
NASA issued a short news release on Thursday evening stating that Jeanette Epps will not be a part of the International Space Station crew set to launch in June. (That flight would launch from Kazakhstan aboard a Soyuz rocket.) The release gave no reason why Epps was pulled from the flight.
In a response to a request for more information, Johnson Space Center spokeswoman Brandi Dean told Ars, "A number of factors are considered when making flight assignments. However, these decisions are personnel matters for which NASA doesn’t provide information."
According to NASA, Epps had returned to the active Astronaut Corps at the space center to assume duties in the astronaut office. She will be considered for assignment to future missions. Had she flown this year, Epps would have become the first African-American astronaut to live as a crew member aboard the International Space Station. Only three other African American women have flown into space. Epps' assignment in January 2017 garnered a fair amount of favorable publicity for the space agency.
Epps was a member of NASA's 20th class of astronauts, a group of nine known as the "Chumps" who were selected in June 2009. Seven of the nine astronauts from that class have already flown into space. Epps will be replaced by the other rookie from the 2009 class, Serena Auñón-Chancellor, who was serving as Epps' backup for this mission.
Crew members have been pulled from their flights much later than thisIn 1970, Ken Mattingly was pulled from his assignment as command module pilot of the Apollo 13 just a week before launch. (Gary Sinise played him in the 1995 film.) That was because the primary crew was exposed to rubella, and Mattingly was not immune from the disease. NASA does not usually say why crews are reassigned unless there is a medical reason. In that case, NASA will sometimes provide limited information.
NASA pulled this astronaut from a space station crew. Her brother blames racism.
NASA’s Johnson Space Center published this short biographical summary of astronaut Jeanette Epps in September 2015.
NASA astronaut Jeanette Epps, who was slated to become the first black crew member to live on board the International Space Station, was unexpectedly pulled from her June flight.
In a brief news release Thursday, NASA announced that Serena Auñón-Chancellor, a fellow member of Epps's astronaut class who was scheduled to launch later in the year, would be bumped up to take Epps's place. Epps, who had already started training for her role on Expedition 56-57, will return to Johnson Space Center in Houston, where she will be a candidate for future crews.
NASA did not give an explanation for the crew change. But Epps's brother blamed racism at the space agency.
“My sister Dr. Jeannette Epps has been fighting against oppressive racism and misogynist in NASA and now they are holding her back and allowing a Caucasian Astronaut to take her place!” Henry Epps wrote in a Facebook post Saturday. (The post has since been removed.) He linked to a MoveOn.org petition asking NASA to reinstate Epps.
From left, Expedition 54-55 backup crew members Jeanette Epps of NASA, Sergey Prokopyev of the Russian Federal Space Agency and Alexander Gerst of the European Space Agency arrive at the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on Dec. 4. (Andrey Shelepin/Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center)
In an email, Epps said she could not comment on her brother's post or the reason for the crew change and clarified that neither she nor anyone in her family created the petition.
Epps said that she did not have a medical condition or family problem that would have prevented her from participating in the mission and that her overseas training in Russia and Kazakhstan had been successful.
NASA likewise declined to comment about Henry Epps's post but provided a statement saying, “Diversity and inclusion are integral to mission success at NASA and we have a diverse astronaut corps reflective of that approach.”
Last-minute crew changes are not unusual at NASA. Apollo 13 pilot Ken Mattingly was famously pulled from his mission days before launch after being exposed to German measles. It's also common for NASA to give limited explanations for these changes, which may involve private medical reasons or other sensitive information.
Epps, who has a PhD in aerospace engineering, was selected as a NASA astronaut in 2009 after seven years of working for the CIA. In an interview with New York Magazine last year, after her historic assignment to the ISS crew was announced, Epps said she felt “a huge amount of responsibility.”
Jeanette Epps (Robert Markowitz/NASA)
Fourteen African American astronauts have flown in space, and several have visited the space station. In 2008, astronaut Leland Melvin was part of the space shuttle crew that delivered the Columbus science laboratory to the space station. But Epps would have been the first to serve on the ISS long-term.
“As a steward, I want to do well with this honor,” Epps said. “I want to make sure that young people know that this didn’t happen overnight. There was a lot of work involved, and a lot of commitment and consistency. It is a daunting task to take on.”
Alongside Epps, Auñón-Chancellor was one of 14 astronaut candidates selected out of some 3,500 applicants for NASA's 20th astronaut class in 2009. She has a medical degree and previously served as a surgeon and managed medical operations for a range of NASA missions.
Auñón-Chancellor's selection was also history-making: She will be the first Hispanic woman to live on the space station.
Quelle: The Washington Post