Authorities at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) have tasked Jeanette Epps to join two others to top off its lineup of astronauts that will join the inaugural mission of the Boeing Starliner-1 to the International Space Station (ISS) that is according to the latest press release from the agency.
Astronauts Josh Cassada and Sunita Williams will join her in the mission. The mission comes after a successful unmanned test mission and the manned Crew Flight Test. Like Epps, this will be a first space mission for Cassada. Meanwhile, Williams will be the most experienced amongst the bunch with two prior missions under her belt.
A native of the State of New York, she finished her bachelor’s degree there in her hometown Syracuse. She completed her additional studies at the University of Maryland, College Park – earning her master’s in 1994 followed by her doctorate six years after.
A successful researcher, she authored numerous scholarly articles and have extensive laboratory experience. Before pursuing a career as a professional astronaut, she worked for the Central Intelligence Agency as an Intelligence Officer for seven years.
The Boeing Starliner-1 will be the first operational manned flight mission of Boeing’s CST-100 Starliner fleet of crafts. It is part of NASA’s efforts to partner with private aerospace firms in the country to be able to deploy routine missions in space and to the ISS. The Commercial Crew Program as it is called has partnered and continued on working with several American firms such as Elon Musk’s SpaceX and multinational company Boeing.