Autor Wątek: Jeanette Jo Epps 02.11.1970  (Przeczytany 1225 razy)

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Odp: Jeanette Jo Epps 02.11.1970
« Odpowiedź #15 dnia: Styczeń 28, 2018, 09:11 »
Astronaut set to be first African American on space station crew removed from flight

Jeanette Epps, seen with her former crewmates Sergey Prokopyev (at center) and Alexander Gerst in December 2017 at the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. (Andrey Shelepin/GCTC via NASA)

(...)The reason for Epps' removal was not given. Brandi Dean, a NASA spokesperson, said that a number of factors were considered.

"These decisions are personnel matters for which NASA doesn't provide information," Dean told collectSPACE. (...)

Six African-American astronauts — Robert Curbeam, Alvin Drew, Joan Higginbotham, Leland Melvin, Robert Satcher and Stephanie Wilson — previously visited the station on space shuttle missions to assemble and supply the orbiting laboratory, but Epps would have been the first to serve on the space station's resident crew.

The news of Epps' flight assignment quickly spread online, appearing on numerous websites and in news publications worldwide. Woman's Day featured Epps on the cover of its 80th birthday issue in September 2017. (...)

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Odp: Jeanette Jo Epps 02.11.1970
« Odpowiedź #16 dnia: Czerwiec 21, 2018, 23:25 »

Jeanette Epps was a guest at the Tech Open Air technology festival in Berlin this morning (June 21), where she was interviewed by journalist Megan Gannon.

The following transcript, prepared by collectSPACE, captures Epps' comments with regards to her removal and current status.

    Before we get into your background and your training, I feel like we really need to address the elephant in the room, which is that you're supposed to be in space right now. So can you tell us about the mission that you were supposed to be on?

    I was supposed to launch this past June 6 to do about a six month mission and around December I was removed from flight after completing all the backup flow in Baikonur and in Star City and completing all of that.

This was supposed to be your first flight, right? You were selected as an astronaut in 2009, you've been training for a long time and you've been waiting to go to space. This was going to be your first flight?

I joined the astronaut corps in 2009 and went through two years of astronaut candidacy. We all graduated in November 2011. So we went through all of that training and I've been training ever since.

As far as being assigned, you have to be certified in all areas, the spacewalk training, robotics, Russian language, and so by the time you are assigned, especially after waiting eight years, or seven years, you're pretty much ready when it comes to the Houston training. And then once you're assigned, you have to go over to Russia. I did language immersion and then went over to Star City to start training. And then you also go to Germany, to Cologne in particular, and Japan, and you have to do all the training there as well.

So it was in January that you got pulled from the mission?

That was when the public announcement came out.

What can you tell us about what you know about why you were taken off?

I can't speculate in this forum why that was done, but it was a decision of my management and it is something that we're going to try to work through. I'm back in the corps now, I am working on the NASA Orion program, which is really the Space Launch System, which is a mission to go back to the moon to build a lunar orbital platform called the Gateway, and to basically get astronauts back to the moon and develop technologies there that would help take us to Mars. I'm still flying the T-38, I'm still capcom'ing in Mission Control, and so I am just back in the office during the same things that I was doing for the eight years I was waiting for a mission.

So has something like this happened before where a crew member is taken off the mission and no real reason is given for it?

Well people have been removed before, but not in the same fashion that this was done, partially because I was so close to launch and I completed the entire backup flow. We pass all of the exams in Star City and then Baikonur was really what you get to do after you pass all of your exams in Star City.

I passed everything in Cologne for the specialist. I was trained to the specialist level for the Columbus module on the space station. And I did the same thing in Japan, in Tskuba, where you train to the specialist level for their module on the ISS, which the JEM module. So with all of the training I had done and completed in Houston, Russia, Germany, Japan, everything was completed.

And so to be removed while you're in Russia and different things like that, it hadn't been done. Other people had been removed because of a medical thing, an accident. One person broke a hip and had to be removed from flight, of course. But I didn't have any medical conditions or anything like that. And I didn't have any family issues at all, either.

Do you know when you might get an answer about what happened? Is there any kind of internal investigation going on?

I don't know when I will get an answer, and hopefully it will come soon. I am hoping by the end of the summer. Because I think what is happening soon is that we're going to run out of Soyuz seats, because we are building commercial crew vehicles through Elon Musk's SpaceX and through Boeing. Those ships are to take astronauts to space. We have a SpaceX Dragon that takes logistics up to space, but the next follow-on, he's going to take our people up to space.

So with that happening, we won't need the Soyuz any more. So we will have fewer and fewer seats on the Soyuz. And so I am not sure if in the future, if I am assigned a mission, it will be on a Soyuz even though all the training for Russia has been completed. It was phenomenal training.

Do you even know who made the decision? Is it possible it could have been a political decision. Do you even know it was NASA or possibly the Russian partners?

I seriously do not believe it was the Russians, our Russian colleagues, partly because I've been through the training with them and I think I was able to develop really good working relationships with everyone there. A testament to that is that I think some of the people there may have known that NASA was thinking of doing this, but they were adamant that I had to complete all of the training, even down to out in Baikonur, doing the leak check for the suit that was made for me. And the seat liner that was made for me. They wanted to check everything and check it inside the Soyuz, so they know if and when I fly that my suit fit was good and the seat liner that they made for me was a good fit, so I would be comfortable in the right seat of the Soyuz.

There were even several Russians who defended me, in the sense that it is not safe to remove someone from a crew that has trained together to two years, or for a year at least, and went through all of the final exams and things like that. So for safety reasons, I think some people, especially the Russians, were a little concerned.

Besides that, I don't know where the decision came from and how it was made, in detail and at what level.

I think a lot of people were really excited for your mission, in part because you were going to be the first African American crew member to live on the space station in its, what, almost 20 year history of having astronauts continuously living there orbiting Earth? And because there hasn't been any reason given, a lot of people have been left wondering if this was ultimately like a racist or sexist decision. Is that something you are wondering too?

It is something that I live with everyday and I don't live with it thinking about it everyday. To me, I think as with anyone who is a professional, the goal is get to the job done and do as well as your colleagues and make sure you are a contributing member to whatever team you're in and make sure you are doing your part, and if things do happen, you can participate and make sure things get back on track as a crew, as a teammate, as a person living on the station no matter what happens, you are part of the team. And you want to really make sure everything is done.

To me, within that framework, there's no time to really be concerned about sexism and racism and things like that, because we have to perform. And if comes into play, then you're hindering the mission and you're hindering the performance. So whether or not it is a factor, I can't speculate what people are thinking doing into this forum unless I have a little bit more information. I don't want to speculate what people are thinking, especially in this forum, because to me, it takes away from the mission and the things we are trying to do. And if that is the reason that things like this have happened, to me it is even worse.

I kind of ignore a lot of stuff and I don't speculate, so I don't know what to say that at this point. It is something that a lot of people have asked me and I haven't commented yet and so I am waiting to see what comes of all of this.

So what has it been like getting back to work after all of this?

Getting back to work, it is like business as usual. Getting back in the T-38, doing the same things, we have requirements of so many hours that you have to fly per quarter. Getting back to working in Mission Control as the capcom. Trying to make sure I am getting back in the pool at the Neutral Buoyancy Lab and working on spacewalk training. And really that is the primary thing, and apart from that you have a regular job. My regular job is work in the exploration branch where the Orion is being developed.

That's basically it. I do know getting back was interesting because working with my trainers, a lot of them were really concerned. They thought something might have happened to me because we never saw this coming. So it has been an interesting experience to see the response and the impact that this whole thing has had on other people. And of course I am impacted, but to know that other people are impacted, too, it was a pleasant surprise, even despite everything that has happened. I didn't know that people felt that way, if that makes sense.

I imagine that is a frustrating experience to go through something like this and not have a lot of answers. It must be a little isolating in general to just be an astronaut, because you are part of such a small club, and as an astronaut who is also a woman of color, you're part of an even smaller club. So when you're going through something like this, where there are not a lot of people who can understand your experience, how do you take care of yourself? Who do you have to lean on for support?

That is part of the surprise that I had coming back. There were a lot of people who were really supportive, former astronauts and people like that, who reached out and were really helpful just talking to me, trying to figure out a way forward and what happened. So in a situation like that, the pleasant thing was some of the people who I never expected to come through and to really have my back in a lot of crazy situations that have happened. I didn't have to do this alone, in other words. So I was very happy that I found out that I had more friends than I thought, and I think going through something like that you kind of realize who you're real friends are. And it is important to know that because it is interesting and different and difficult to go through. So having people like that really helps.

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Odp: Jeanette Jo Epps 02.11.1970
« Odpowiedź #17 dnia: Czerwiec 24, 2018, 01:07 »
Jeszcze jeden wywiad astronautki NASA Jeanette Epps:

“I am not defined by this.” NASA astronaut Jeanette Epps talks about being pulled from the ISS mission

Written by Jill Petzinger June 22, 2018

Jeannette Epps was set to be the first African American woman on the Space Station. (Stefan Wieland/Tech Open Air)

Jeanette Epps can easily be seen as a poster woman for success. Even though that’s something she never set out to become. Not only has she achieved prestige as a former CIA officer and now as a NASA astronaut, she has also navigated her career against all the odds as an African-American woman in industries that are structurally geared to nurturing white men.

Epps was just 9 when her college-age brother looked at her school report card and told her that she could be an aerospace engineer or an astronaut. It stuck. She thought there was no way she would be picked to become an astronaut, and decided to become an aerospace engineer, because “you can actually build things.”

Born in 1970 in Syracuse, New York, she joined NASA during grad school, as a fellow, and then worked in research at Ford Motors, before joining the CIA for seven years as a technical intelligence officer. She was selected to become an astronaut in 2009, graduated in 2011, and started training.

NASA announced in 2017 that Epps had been chosen to go to the International Space Station (ISS) in June this year—she was to be the first African-American woman to live on the station. Then suddenly, in December last year, Epps was pulled from Expedition 56.

She said at the Tech Open Air conference in Berlin that she can’t speculate on why she was pulled—it was a management decision and she’s still waiting for an official reason. Crew members have been taken off missions in the past, but generally for medical reasons—Epps had no health issues, had passed all the training, and was cleared to fly. She told the audience that she prefers not to speculate on media stories saying the decision was sexist or racist, as it detracts from the mission that she and her colleagues have worked so hard on.

Apart from that, Epps has barely commented on her removal since NASA announced it in January. But when she sat down with Quartz in Berlin, she talked about moving on from the shock and disappointment of not being in space right now and how to bounce back from major career setbacks.

This interview has been edited for clarity and brevity.

Quartz: Was being pulled from the team bound for the ISS the greatest hurdle in your career so far?

Epps: Yes, and because it was so public on top of it. It was like “NASA what are you doing? It’s so public, do you really want to do this now?” The other part of this is that I’m not defined by this one thing that happened.

Were you able to use the mental resilience from the intense astronaut training to get you through the disappointment?

Yes, and I have a great family, too. My twin sister, my nieces, my nephews, a lot of people came out of the woodwork and I do think that going through a trying period makes you really realize who your friends are. That was one of the best things that happened in the darkest hour. So many people were willing to help and were impacted and I had people coming to me crying and wanting to help in so many ways. I had no clue what I was coming back to and you go through this range of emotions from, like, shock, to trying to wrap your brain around what just happened and what’s to come. There was also a little anger.

It sounds similar to the stages of grief…

 It was one of the best experiences in the sense that I didn’t have to go through it alone. It’s definitely the exact same thing. There’s a loss, so there’s definitely grief—and other people were grieving for me. The people who came through for me the most were my trainers, because they never expected this, they never saw it coming. It was one of the best experiences in the sense that I didn’t have to go through it alone.

What would you tell anyone who has put their life and soul into their career and suddenly it looks like it has derailed?

Regrouping is the first thing to do, but then you realize that you have to go through this whole phase of grief and that it’s not the end. You’ve already done so much and been successful, why would this one thing derail your career or even silence your voice?

The biggest thing that I realized is that when something like this happens you have an even bigger voice now, and you have a platform and that’s the thing that people fail to understand. Things like this can be used to derail you—if you let it. But if you use it as a platform, maybe you can help someone else or to get other people involved in things like this, and almost force the right thing to happen.

Is NASA cool with you talking about what happened?

 How you respond is way more important than what happened. This is part of my job. I have to do PR, it’s part of my performance appraisal. I have to get out, I have to train, I have to do outreach—our job is really to inspire people. Even though my story is different, it has to be told and I think it only helps younger people who have never experienced anything harsh to realize that things can happen and how you respond is way more important than what happened.

You said that initially you didn’t want to be singled out, or to be the poster woman for black women in space. What changed?

You kind of have to take it on, because you realize that there are all these girls that really want this, and they want it because they feel like they need it. Even if it’s just for motivation, [you need to do it] so they can see, “Hey, she’s doing this, and if she’s trudging on, I can trudge on too.”

Is there enough being done in schools to keep young girls locked in, girls who may dream, like you did at 9 years old, of being an astronaut?

That is my fear, I’m not sure that there is enough being done. I have two nieces, one is 6 and one 7, and I’m worried that the 7-year-old will get to 9 and all of a sudden things will change, because that’s what some of the studies are showing. I’m like, “No, we got to figure out how to keep her on this track.”

 The boys don’t understand that the system was built around them, that it’s for them. In my opinion, the boys don’t understand that the system was built around them, that it’s for them. There are things that can be done to help girls. I don’t know if it’s having more female speakers come out and engage the girls at that young age to encourage them to keep going forward, and getting them more involved in hands on activities. Girls, if they’re interested in math and science and things like that, have to understand that the applied aspect of it is very hands-on. I didn’t have a whole lot of hands-on experience at using milling machines and lathes and things like that. But a lot of the boys did.

Did you already have to overcome big odds just to get into college to study astro-engineering?

I was very fortunate, because I have a twin sister, and she and I together could ignore everyone. I was fortunate to have this kind of support group—it didn’t matter what other people thought, we were going to do this together anyway. And having that kind of support going though undergrad and getting over your own insecurities and self-doubt is really important.

You talked today about the importance of being flexible, adaptable, and able to get along well with people. Do you think when women fall down with it comes to cultivating career relationships?

Being flexible and adaptable to work in any environment is very important, then there’s also the other layer: Does your boss know who you are. And what kind of rapport do you have with your boss? I’m trying to stay away from calling it office politics, but your boss has to know who you are and engage you in conversation. I never got that advice.

You don’t want to be a braggart but your boss has to recognize that you did a good job and that you’re a part of the team. Sometimes I think we think “I’m going to be recognized for my work and I don’t have to go out and make sure my boss knows this.” But you kind of have to.

When did you realize that in your career—was it pre-NASA or pre-CIA?

 My mistakes were in being quiet and thinking that my work would stand for itself. Unfortunately I realized it too late. I realized it at the CIA and tried to incorporate as much of it as I could going to NASA. But even then, politics can become very complicated.

My mistakes were in being quiet and thinking that my work would stand for itself. There are other forces at play that you have to combat, and the only way to do that I think is by being very consistent, asking a lot of questions, making sure that your performance is on par. I went to my trainers and said “am I missing anything in the training, is there more that I need to do?” In my business, you want to ask how you are doing in comparison to your colleagues—for safety reasons as well, especially when it comes to emergency.

Most women, I think, are like you and I. We approach the job, we want to do it extremely well and make sure we’re a part of the team, but we’re also a little shy in the sense that we don’t want come out too strong and say, “Hey, look what I just did.”

You’re not on the space station right now. What’s next—might you go to the moon some day?

 I am reinvigorated in that my career isn’t defined by this event. Potentially, if I stay in the office, yes. There’s a good potential for that, especially by the time we go to commercial in 2025. In the meantime, we may have other missions though, that are test missions, that’s to be seen, so maybe 2022, a mission out around the moon and back.

But I’m at the point now with my career, and as bizarre as its been with this public announcement and things like that, I’m not sure what the future holds for me exactly.

I am reinvigorated in that my career isn’t defined by this event, there’s been a ton of good things that have happened and a ton of good things that likely will happen. The reason I think I’m as hopeful too is that I’ve think I’ve been successful as an astronaut in all the training, having been certified for assignment…it was really gratifying to know I can go through all that and pass all the classes and develop a really nice working rapport with the Russians.

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Odp: Jeanette Jo Epps 02.11.1970
« Odpowiedź #18 dnia: Czerwiec 29, 2018, 15:45 »
Zapis wywiadu Megan Gannon z astronautką Jeanette Epps od 36minut10sekund:

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