NASA confirmed on Friday that Jeanette Epps, a former CIA expertise intelligence officer chosen as an astronaut in 2009, will lastly launch into area in early 2024 on a SpaceX flight to the Worldwide Area Station. The crew project comes six years after NASA pulled Epps from what would have been her first spaceflight, simply months earlier than her scheduled launch to the area station on a Russian Soyuz spacecraft.
The removing of Epps from the Soyuz mission in 2018 raised a number of questions. It isn’t the primary time NASA has pulled an astronaut off of area missions quickly earlier than launch, but it surely’s normally for medical causes, like an sickness or an damage.
That wasn’t the case for Epps, who was changed by a backup crew member on the Soyuz flight in 2018. NASA by no means publicly said a motive for the crew change. Some individuals outdoors the company theorized Epps might need been faraway from her flight for political or racial causes—she would have turn out to be the primary Black astronaut to fly a long-duration stint on the area station—however Ars has reported that didn’t seem like the case.
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