Jeanette Epps was on the verge of making history. The NASA astronaut was set to become the first Black American to be a crew member of the International Space Station. Epps was pulled off of the mission last week and replaced by Serena Aunon-ChancelloR. NASA officials have yet to reveal why they decided to remove Epps.
However, Epps’ brother believes that she is being marginalized because she is a Black female. “My sister Dr. Jeannette Epps has been fighting against oppressive racism and misogynist [sic] in NASA and now they are now holding her back and allowing a Caucasian atronaut to take her place!” Henry Epps wrote on Facebook post. “My sister deserve a chance just like her white peers! This administration policies and culture is reprehensible against their stance against women and minorities in this nation. We have lost all of the gains we gained over the past 40 years in one year?No more! We cannot continue to tolerate what is going on in America but we must stand together and stand behind our people!”
Henry Epps also attached a link from a MoveOn.org campaign that seeks to encourage NASA to reassign Epps to the mission which will take place in June.
Jeanette Epps has yet to speak out on being reassigned. It’s possible that health reasons could be an issue, but NASA’s silence is causing some to believe that Epps is experiencing a form of discrimination.