The first black female astronaut ever assigned to the International Space Station was yanked from the mission just months before it was set to launch, according to a report Friday.
Jeanette Epps, a 47-year-old former CIA agent from Syracuse, NY, was removed from the position aboard the Russian Soyuz spacecraft and replaced by another astronaut, NASA sources told the BBC.
NASA didn’t cite a reason for replacing her but said she would be considered for other missions in the future, the station reported.
The Soyuz will launch in June and Epps will “return to NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston to assume duties in the Astronaut Office,” NASA told the BBC.
Epps got a doctorate in aerospace engineering in 2000, worked in a lab and was later recruited by the CIA, which sent her on deployments to Iraq.
“I get very excited when I think about being up in space, partly because I compare it to going into a war zone,” Epps told Elle magazine last year.
“Both are very dangerous but, for me, it’s a no-brainer: I would rather face the dangers in space than go back to a war zone.”
Source: NY Post (Natalie O’Neill)
Photo Credit: Science Examiner
Photo Credit: Woman’s Day