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Jeanette Epps Joins 2021 Spaceflight Mission

NASA Astronaut Jeanette Epps joins the first Operational Boeing Crew Mission to the Space Station. This will be the first spaceflight mission for Epps. She earned her bachelor’s degree in physics, completed a master’s degree in science and a doctorate in aerospace engineering. She was recruited by the CIA as a technical intelligence officer before her selection as a member of the 2009 astronaut class.

Epps will make history next year when she becomes the first Black female astronaut to be a crew member of the International Space Station. NASA announced on August 25 that she has been assigned to NASA Boeing Starliner-1.

"Epps will join NASA astronauts Sunita Williams and Josh Cassada for a six-month expedition planned for a launch in 2021 to the orbiting space laboratory," NASA said in a release. "The flight will follow NASA certification after a successful uncrewed Orbital Flight Test-2 and Crew Flight Test with astronauts."

In a tweet, NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine said Epps was a "fantastic addition" to the team.

"I'm super excited to join Suni Williams and Josh Cassada on the first operational Boeing crew mission to the International Space Station," Epps said in a video message. "I've flown in helicopters with Suni flying and I've flown in the backseat of a T38 with Josh flying and they are both wonderful people to work with, so I'm looking forward to the mission."

Williams and Cassada both welcomed Epps to the mission in videos posted to Twitter.