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Syracuse native headed to space will bring special photo

HOUSTON, T.X. (WSYR-TV) — When Syracuse native Jeanette Epps flies into space next month, she’ll have something very special on board.

“One of the most special things that I’m taking with me is a photo of my mom,” said Epps on Thursday, Jan. 25.

Epps told the story of when she was selected as a NASA astronaut in June of 2009.

Epps said: “Five days after I was selected, my mom passed away. I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for her and her work ethic and her emphasis on education growing up. So she was a big part of the reason I’m here.”

That education brought Epps through Corcoran High School in Syracuse. She got her degree in Physics from Le Moyne College in 1992. She then left New York to earn her Master’s and Ph.D. in aerospace engineering from the University of Maryland.

After working in a laboratory for Ford Motor Company, Epps joined the CIA in 2002 before moving to NASA in 2009.

In 2018, Epps was scheduled to be part of a mission to the International Space Station but was pulled from the crew without explanation.

She said she kept her spirits up by training. “I’ve been pretty over the last year, still training, still working towards the goal of going to the space station,” she said.

Last summer, she was named to the Crew-8 of the next SpaceX flight to the ISS, set to launch on February 29.

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