Rare move by NASA: Astronaut bumped from space station

Rare move by NASA: Astronaut bumped from space station

Rare move by NASA: Astronaut bumped from space station

Epps was supposed to be the first African-American astronaut assigned to the ISS crew, the BBC reports.

Jeanette Epps, a 47-year-old former Central Intelligence Agency agent from Syracuse, was removed from the position aboard the Russian Soyuz spacecraft and replaced by another astronaut, NASA sources told the BBC.

NASA has bumped an astronaut off an upcoming spaceflight, a rare move for the space agency so close to launch.

It's now undecided whether Epps, who was the flight engineer for Expedition 56/57, will be a crew member on another ISS mission in the future. Late Thursday, NASA announced it was pulling Epps off the mission but didn't disclose why.

She would have flown on board a Russian Soyuz flight in June yet is being supplanted by another space traveler.

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In a 2017 interview with Elle magazine, Epps said, "I get very excited when I think about being up in space, partly because I compare it to going into a war zone".

Aunon-Chancellor "joined the astronaut corps in 2009 and has been at NASA since 2006, when she became a flight surgeon", according to her biography.

Dr Epps was because of dispatch to the circling station from Baikonur, Kazakhstan, alongside the German European Space Agency (Esa) space explorer Alexander Gerst and the flight's officer, Russian cosmonaut Sergei Prokopev.

The release said Epps would return to Johnson Space Center in Houston to return to work in the Astronaut Office.

Nasa offered no explanation behind the choice to expel her from the Expedition 56/57 mission. Space station crews typically stay for five to six months.

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