Enlarge / Jeanette Epps, left, served as a back-up crew member to Expedition 54 to the space station. (credit: NASA)
NASA issued a short news release on Thursday evening stating that Jeanette Epps will not be a part of the International Space Station crew set to launch in June. (That flight would launch from Kazakhstan aboard a Soyuz rocket.) The release gave no reason why Epps was pulled from the flight.
In a response to a request for more information, Johnson Space Center spokeswoman Brandi Dean told Ars, “A number of factors are considered when making flight assignments. However, these decisions are personnel matters for which NASA doesn’t provide information.”
According to NASA, Epps had returned to the active Astronaut Corps at the space center to assume duties in the astronaut office.
She will be considered for assignment to future missions. Had she flown this year, Epps would have become the first African-American astronaut to live as a crew member aboard the International Space Station. Only three other African American women have flown into space.

Epps’ assignment in January 2017 garnered a fair amount of favorable publicity for the space agency.
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