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Astronaut Epps asks, ‘How did this girl from Syracuse get here?’

CAPE CANAVERAL, F.L. (WSYR-TV) — “Hello Syracuse!” are words that will have new meaning when Dr. Jeanette Epps says them from the International Space Station.

Before she gets there, that’s the greeting she uses to begin an interview with NewsChannel 9 before she left her home base at the Johnson Space Center in Houston.

“I’m feeling very excited,” said Epps. “Looking forward to a good trip.”

Her trip will begin any day when the weather is safe for lift-off.

It’s a trip that began on Syracuse’s South Side, where Epps graduated from Corcoran High School before attending Le Moyne College.

“The teachers and professors I had at both of those places were very supportive of everything my sister and I wanted to do,” said Epps. “I think Le Moyne, in particular, a classic education, a Jesuit education, really helped me throughout my career.”

Epps later went on to earn a Master’s and PhD in aerospace engineering from the University of Maryland.

“It wasn’t natural for me at all,” said Epps. “What was natural was to work hard, because neither of our parents were engineers or scientists.”

Early in her career, she worked for the Ford Motor Company and CIA. In 2009, she was accepted to NASA’s astronaut class.

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