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Eileen Collins

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Eileen Collins is a retired NASA astronaut and she has achieved many firsts in the history of space travel. In 1995, Eileen became the first woman to pilot a space shuttle mission during the Discovery’s rendezvous with the Mir space station.

By 1999, she had logged in 419 hours in space and on July 23rd 1999 with space shuttle Columbia blasting off, she became the first female shuttle commander. Eileen Collins was born on November 19th 1956 in Elmira, New York.

Eileen graduated in 1974 from Elmira Free Academy. In 1978 Eileen was selected for Air Force Undergraduate Pilot Training.


Fast Facts: –

  • She earned a Master of Science degree in operations research From Stanford University in 1986.
  • In January, 1990, Eileen Collins was selected by NASA to become an astronaut.
  • Initially, she was assigned to Orbiter systems support and also served as a part of the astronaut support team.
  • In July 2005 she commanded the much-anticipated launch of the first space shuttle since the disastrous Columbiavoyage in 2003.
  • The purpose for the return to flight in 2005 was to test new safety features following the accident and to bring much needed supplies to the ISS (International Space Station).
  • Eileen Collins was awarded several medals for her work including Defense Superior Service Medal and National Space Trophy.
  • She retired from US Air Force in 2005 and from NASA in 2006. She has logged more than 872 hours in space.
  • Collins also served as an assistant professor in mathematics and an instructor pilot at the US Air Force Academy.
  • In 2007 Eileen Collins joined the board of the United Services Automobile Association.



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