Yes Epps was replaced.
Is there any word on NASA crew assignments for 2019? A one-year training flow for ISS expeditions seems extremely short. Unless there's astros already in training, but not publicly announced yet?
Today's lesson: Opening the front door on the Soyuz descent module. For winter survival training next month, nobody's gonna open that hatch but us!
Just saw the announcement that Ellen Ochoa, JSC Center Director, is retiring.
Ellen Ochoa will retire from NASA as center director of Johnson Space Center in May. From a memo she sent to center employees: Earlier today at the All Hands, I let people know that I am going to retire from NASA at the end of May. It's a really tough decision to determine when to make that transition; for me, it comes down to my personal situation. I reach 30 years at NASA, and my younger son turns 18, so this summer is a natural point for our family in which to move on to the next phase. We'll be moving to Boise, ID, and I intend to be involved with a number of activities that interest me (including getting back to playing flute, which I once considered for a career!). Of course, I'll continue — always — to be a strong proponent of NASA and STEM activities in general.We're fortunate to have a team of excellent leaders here at JSC, so I know I'll be leaving JSC in good hands. You'll hear more about JSC leadership plans from Robert Lightfoot later in the spring. In the meantime, I have several months to go as Center Director, and you can count on me to continue to be fully committed to our mission and our people here.
I know it sounds odd, but Epps removal could be linked to the recent ZUMA failure. Epps is one of two group 20 astronauts with connections to the intelligence community. The other is Fisher, who just happened to be on board the ISS when USA 276 (NROL-76) made its unusual close approach to the station. USA 276 in turn has been associated with ZUMA by several observers, mostly due to their similar (target) orbits. Admittedly, such a speculation might not be the best subject for a first post But be assured, that I normally stay away from such topics. My interest for the upcoming ISS expedition 56/57 is most and for all due to my fellow-countryman Alexander Gerst.
Soichi Noguchi 野口 聡 @Astro_SoichiLet's get serious with #EVA power tools! My good friend & training mate Drew Morgan on the left.