Jeanette Epps

You’ve likely heard about “Hidden Figures”, the film about the African American women behind the success of NASA’s mission to put an astronaut into orbit that has been gathering Oscars buzz. The movie takes place in the 1960s, but African American women are still making their mark in space. A prime example is this week’s WiSE Wednesday honoree, Jeanette Epps. On Wednesday, NASA announced plans for Epps to serve as a flight engineer on the International Space Station (ISS). This will make her the first African American and the 13th woman to live on work on the ISS. A native of New York state, Epps was born in 1970 and obtained a PhD in aerospace engineering from the University of Maryland. In addition to 7 years of experience as an astronaut, her résumé includes 7 years as a technical intelligence officer for the CIA. Epps is set to take flight to the ISS in May 2018, where she will spend up to six months. While it took half a century for Katherine Johnson, Dorothy Vaughan, Mary Jackson, and the many other African American women featured in “Hidden Figures” to get the credit they deserved, WiSE and others are committed to making sure that Epps’ story will not remain “hidden”. Congratulations Jeanette!