She will be the first black female astronaut to board the International Space Station.
On January 5, 2016 NASA announced that Epps is set to become the first African American space station crew member when she launches on her first spaceflight in May 2018, as a flight engineer on Expedition 56, remaining on board for Expedition 57.
Dr. Epps was selected in July 2009 as 1 of 14 members of the 20th NASA astronaut class. Her Astronaut Candidate
Training included Russian Language training, spacewalk training (EVA), robotics, T-38 jet training, geology and National
Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS) training. After graduating Dr. Epps continued training by participating in NEEMO
(NASA Extreme Environment Mission Operation), geologic studies in Hawaii, and language immersion in Moscow as well
as continued training in EVA, robotics and T-38. While waiting for a mission assignment Dr. Epps served as a representative to the Generic Joint Operation Panel working on crew efficiency on the space station as well as other
topics, served as a Crew Support Astronaut for two expeditions, and served as lead CAPCOM in mission control.
She has been assigned to serve as Flight Engineer for Expedition 56 and remain on board for Expedition 57, scheduled to
launch in May 2018.
NASA GSRP Fellowship 1996-1997, 1997 1998 and 1998-1999; Exceptional Performance Award 2003, 2004 and 2008;
Inducted into the University of Maryland, Department of Aerospace Engineering, Academy of Distinguished Alumni
2012; JSC Director’s Innovation Group Achievement Award to Improving Efficiency on the ISS Team 2013, Recipient of
the Glenn L. Martin Medal from the A. James Clark School of Engineering, University of Maryland, 2014. In 2016, she was
awarded an honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from LeMoyne College.
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