Jeanette Epps (1970 - ) will become the first African American space station crew member in the summer of 2018. Born in Syracuse, New York, she graduated LeMoyne College with a BS in Physics in 1992, and University of Maryland with a MS in 1994 and PhD of Philosophy in Aerospace Engineering in 2000. She became a NASA Fellow during graduate school where she authored several journal and conference articles describing her research. She worked for Ford where she received both a provisional patent and a U.S. patent for her research. After leaving Ford, she joined the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) for seven years working as a Technical Intelligence Officer. In July of 2014 she served as an aquanaut aboard the Aquarius underwater laboratory during the NEEMO 18 undersea exploration mission, which lasted nine days. In 2011 NASA selected her to be an astronaut. She has been assigned to her first spaceflight, Expedition 56/57, scheduled to launch in May 2018, as a flight engineer on Expedition 56, and where she will spend up to six months at the International Space Station for Expedition 57.