NASA has recently Jeanette Epps is going to be part of the crew aboard the International Space Station in 2018. This will make the woman the first African-American crew member to represent the nation on the ISS. Also, the space journey will be the first time Jeanette Epps travels outside Earth’s atmosphere, allowing her to follow in the footsteps of the women who inspired her since childhood, she said.
In the past, other African-Americans stepped inside the International Space Station, but only for brief visits during the outpost’s construction. The nominalization will make Jeanette Epps the first black crew member to work and live aboard the ISS for an extended period of time. Moreover, her upcoming journey aboard the Soyuz will also place her as the only representative of the U.S. and a female among a crew composed mostly of Russians and men.
“I’m a person just like they are. I do the same work as they do. If something breaks, any one of us will have to be able to go out the door. We have to be jacks of all trades. It’s not a job that’s like any other.”, said Jeanette Epps to a Danforth Middle School group of STEM students.
Epps was a graduate student Researchers Project fellow, working on her doctorate, and authoring conference articles and journal articles about her work. Before being recruited by the Central Intelligence Agency, she worked in a lab for a couple of years, co-authoring multiple patents. For the next seven years, following her admission into the CIA, Jeanette Epps worked as a technical intelligence officer until 2009, when she was selected as a member of that year’s astronaut class.
The woman told reporters that her brother first introduced the idea that she could be an astronaut one day back in 1980 when she was only 9 years old. she said her brother took a peek at her and her sister’s grades and said they could end up as aerospace engineers one day or even astronauts. This was also happening during the same period when Sally Ride, the first American woman to take to space together with other females were selected to become astronauts. Jeanette said she drew the inspiration from that group of women astronauts and decided to become a space explorer herself one day.
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