Alumna would become first black woman to join the International Space Station crew
Jeanette Epps, a 1992 graduate of Le Moyne College, has been assigned to NASAs Boeing Starliner-1 mission, the first operational crewed flight of Boeings CST-100 Starliner spacecraft on a mission to the International Space Station.
She will join fellow NASA astronauts Sunita Williams and Josh Cassada for a six-month expedition planned for a launch during 2021 to the orbiting space laboratory. The flight will follow NASA certification after a successful uncrewed Orbital Flight Test-2 and Crew Flight Test with astronauts.
News of her assignment made headlines around the world, including coverage on CNN, the CBS Evening News, streetinsider.com and Yahoo Finance.
The spaceflight will be the first for Epps, who earned a bachelors degree in physics from Le Moyne College in her hometown of Syracuse. She completed a masters degree in science in 1994 and a doctorate in aerospace engineering in 2000, both from the University of Maryland, College Park. She has been a NASA astronaut since 2009. (Read a recent story about Epps and how Le Moyne impacted her life.)
Epps currently serves as a member of the Le Moyne Board of Trustees and was the College’s commencement speaker in 2016, where she also received an honorary degree.
"All of us at Le Moyne College are absolutely thrilled at the news of Jeanette's latest accomplishment," said Le Moyne College President Linda LeMura. "She is a remarkable person who has worked so hard to reach the pinnacle of her profession. Jeanette is the epitome of what it means to be Jesuit educated - smart, resourceful and inquisitive. We are so proud of her."