NASA astronaut Jessica Watkins is due to make history as the first black woman to take up a mission at the International Space Station as part of the crew.
On Tuesday, NASA announced that Watkins will serve as a crew member on the upcoming SpaceX Crew-4 operation, which is scheduled to launch in April and last for six months.
Watkins told the New York Times that she hopes her mission to the space station would serve young colorful girls “as an example of ways in which they can participate and thrive.”
In 2018, another astronaut, Jeanette Eppsin, was supposed to make history as the first black woman to live in a space station, but she was replace with another an astronaut without an explanation from NASA. At the time, his brother claimed the decision was due to racism in the agency. NASA did not immediately respond to HuffPost’s request for comment.
Watkins, a native of Colorado, went to Stanford University to graduate and then earned a doctorate from the University of California, Los Angeles. He began his career at NASA as an intern, and the space station mission is his first trip into space since he was elected an astronaut in 2017.