NASA is assigning veteran astronaut Andrew Feustel and first-flight astronaut Jeanette Epps to missions aboard the International Space Station in 2018.
Feustel will launch in March 2018 for his first long-duration
mission, serving as a flight engineer on Expedition 55, and later as
commander of Expedition 56. Epps will become the first African American
space station crew member when she launches on her first spaceflight in
May 2018. She’ll join Feustel as a flight engineer on Expedition 56, and
remain on board for Expedition 57.
“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. “The space station will benefit from having them on board.”
A native of Lake Orion, Michigan, Feustel was selected as part of the
2000 astronaut class and, in 2009, flew on the space shuttle Atlantis
for the final servicing mission of NASA’s Hubble
Space Telescope. He made his first trip to the space station in 2011 as
a member of the STS-134 crew on space shuttle Endeavour’s final
Feustel has a bachelor’s degree in solid Earth sciences and a
master’s degree in geophysics from Purdue University in West Lafayette,
Indiana. In 1995, he completed his doctorate in geological sciences,
with a specialization in seismology, from Queen’s University in
Kingston, Ontario, Canada.
Epps earned a bachelor’s degree in physics in 1992 at LeMoyne College
in her hometown of Syracuse, New York. She went on to complete a
master’s of science in 1994 and a doctorate in 2000 in aerospace
engineering from the University of Maryland.
While earning her doctorate, Epps was a NASA
Graduate Student Researchers Project fellow, authoring several journal
and conference articles on her research. After completing graduate
school, she went on to work in a research laboratory for more than two
years, co-authoring several patents, before being recruited by the
Central Intelligence Agency. She spent seven years as a CIA technical
intelligence officer before being selected as a member of the 2009
Feustel and Epps will join a long and distinguished line of
astronauts who have crewed the International Space Station since
November 2000. With the help of the more than 200 astronauts who have
visited, the space station enables us to demonstrate new technologies
and make research breakthroughs not possible on Earth. Its convergence
of science, technology and human innovation provide a springboard to NASA's next giant leap in exploration, including the Journey to Mars.
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