As “Hidden Figures” hits theaters and spotlights the untold stories of three Black women who helped NASA complete an influential mission in 1962, another African-American woman is making history, reports The Huffington Post.
Jeanette Epps, 46, will be the first African-American astronaut to fly on board the International Space Station. The Syracuse, New York native — who is receiving positive social media comments for being an example of Black excellence — will join another astronaut Andrew Feustel as a flight engineer during an expedition in May 2018, writes the news outlet:
Epps has a PhD in aerospace engineering and has served as an astronaut since 2009. She has also spent seven years as a technical intelligence officer for the Central Intelligence Agency.
Epps, who is also a former NASA Graduate Student Researchers Project fellow, will be one of among 200 astronauts who have visited the ISS.
“Each space station crew brings something different to the table, and Drew and Jeanette both have a lot to offer,” said Chris Cassidy, chief of the Astronaut Office at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston, in a NASA press release. “The space station will benefit from having them on board.”
Epps will participate in expedition 56 and stay on the flight for the succeeding expedition 57 mission, reports Space.com.