WASHINGTON, D.C. – NASA announced this week that astronaut Jeanette Epps has been assigned to its Boeing Starline-1 mission.
The mission is the first operational crewed flight of Boeing’s CST-100 Starling spacecraft on a mission to the International Space Station.
Epps will join astronauts Sunita Williams and Josh Cassada for a six-month expedition planned for a launch in 2021 to the orbiting space lab.
This assignment will also make Epps the first Black woman to live and work in space for an extended period of time, CNBC and USA Today report.
Epps reacted to the announcement in a video on Twitter, saying she’s looking forward to the mission. While this will be her first time in space, Epps said she’s “flown in helicopters with Sunni flying” and been “in the backseat of a T38 with Josh flying.”
Thank you @JimBridenstine! I’m looking forward to the mission.🚀💫 https://t.co/h2xIJMK1Ef pic.twitter.com/cSRf1SE4cr
— Jeanette J. Epps (@Astro_Jeanette) August 25, 2020
Before joining NASA in 2009, Epps spent seven years as a CIA technical intelligence officer. She has a bachelor’s degree in physics from LeMoyne College, as well as a master’s degree in science and doctorate in aerospace engineering from the University of Maryland, College Park.