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Epps pulled from space station, brother blames racism

PICTURED: Jeanette Epps (Photo credit: NASA)

NASA ASTRONAUT Jeanette Epps, who was expected to become the first black crew member to live on board the International Space Station, was unexpectedly pulled from her June flight.

In a brief news release Thursday, NASA announced that Serena Auñón-Chancellor, a fellow member of Epps's astronaut class would take Epps's place, despite Epps already starting training for her role on Expedition 56-57.

NASA didn't provide an explanation for the crew change, but according to The Washington Post, Epps's brother blamed racism at the space agency.

“My sister Dr. Jeannette Epps has been fighting against oppressive racism and misogynist in NASA and now they are holding her back and allowing a Caucasian Astronaut to take her place!” Henry Epps wrote in a Facebook post Saturday (Jan 20) - The post has since been removed.

The Washington Post reports that Epps declined to comment on her brother's Facebook post. NASA likewise declined to comment about Henry Epps's post but provided a statement stating: “Diversity and inclusion are integral to mission success at NASA and we have a diverse astronaut corps reflective of that approach.”

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