Space veteran Andrew Fistel will join rookie Jeanette Epps on the ISS in 2018. This was announced by NASA on Wednesday.
Two astronauts (a veteran and a recruit) will travel to the International Space Station.
Andrew Fistel and Jeanette Epps will be present at each station visit next year as part of expeditions 55-56 and 56-57. Fistel will arrive at the site in March 2018 as a flight engineer of the 55th expedition, and then take over the command of the 56th. Epps will arrive in May as the flight engineer of the expedition 56 and will be delayed for the 57th.
Lake Orion (Michigan) Fistel is a veteran of two NASA space shuttle missions. He joined astronauts in 2000 and flew Atlantis on STS-125 (the last Hubble telescope mission) in 2009. In 2011, at STS-134, made the final flight on the shuttle Endeavor, which visited the ISS. He has a degree in earth sciences and geophysics (Purdue University) and a doctoral degree in geological sciences (Queen’s University at Kingston, Ontario in Canada). Epps is from Syracuse (New York) and will go down in space history during expeditions 56-57 as the first African American member of the ISS. She became an astronaut at NASA in 2009 after 7 years as a technical intelligence officer from the Central Intelligence Agency. Before joining the CIA, she received a bachelor's degree in physics (LeMoyne College), and then a Master of Science (1994) and a doctoral degree (2000) in aerospace engineering.
“Each crew brings something to the table. And Drew and Jeanette have a lot to do, ”says NASA chief astronaut Chris Cassidy. “The ISS will benefit from their arrival.”
The ISS is currently hosting 6 people: three Russian cosmonauts from Roscosmos, two Americans from NASA and one Frenchman from the European Space Agency. This is the 50th expedition since 2000.