NASA will send its first African-American astronaut to the ISS

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For the first time ever, NASA will be sending an African-American crew member to the International Space Station.

The astronaut, Jeanette Epps, is a former CIA technical intelligence officer and will be headed up to the station under the command of veteran astronaut Andrew Feustel in 2018.

“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.”

While previous African-American astronauts have been part of space shuttle missions, Epps, whose training includes the Russian language so that she will be able to speak with the other people on the ISS, is the first African-American to be part of the space station. She was selected in 2009 to be part of NASA’s 20th astronaut class, one of 14 members of the class, and she has a PhD in aerospace engineering from the University of Maryland.

Check out more about this amazing astronaut on her biography on