Jeanette Epps, a NASA astronaut, in an interview at the annual Tech Open Air festival talked about her startling removal from an assignment to go to space this year. The aerospace engineer has been removed from the mission months before the launch date. She has also been a former CIA analyst. In 2009, she became the part of the astronaut corps. She was to be a flight engineer for Expeditions 56 and 57 and a first African-American to live on the International Space Station (ISS).
This was her first mission, but in January, she was reinstated by her colleague Serena Aunon-Chancellor. Serena, on June 6, was launched inside a Russian Soyuz capsule with two others.
In the past, the astronauts have knocked out the missions due to family or health-related matters. But for Epps, it is hard to theorize that why even after passing all the exams and going through the training sessions required for the mission, she has been chucked out, as she neither suffered from any health or family issue. Also, it would be much degenerating if she is not sent for another mission with all the preparations she had for the Russian Launch.
Many Russian colleagues showed concern and expressed how precarious removing a crewmember who has been trained for the mission for almost two years is. According, to Epps, racism or sexism might be the reason, but she also addresses the fact that there is no time to be concerned about such things as one must perform. She believes that even after passing all the exams, such decisions come into play, then it would only thwart the mission as well as the performance of the people on it. She doesn’t want to speculate such ideas behind her removal because she lacks much information regarding the same.
Till she receives more knowledge on this, she has recommenced her duties with astronaut corps in Houston along with NASA’s Orion Program and servicing as the link-woman between the astronauts in space and the flight controllers. She was astonished to have her former astronauts, her trainers, and fellows from NASA supporting her when she returned from Russia. Many of them discussed all that happened and tried to figure out a way forward. Though the removal brought a sudden surprise for Epps, she was more surprised and happy to find that she has more friends than she thought she has.