Eileen Collins - NASA's First Female Shuttle Commander.
Eileen Collins became the first (and currently only) female Shuttle commander. On her next, she will command the historic STS-114 "Return to Flight" mission, the first after the Columbia tragedy.
On becoming an astronaut: Shuttle Commander Eileen Collins
"When I was very young and first started reading about astronauts, there were no women astronauts." However, she was inspired while she was a child by the Mercury astronauts, and by the time she was in high school and college, new opportunities were opening up for women in aviation. "My timing was really great," she said. Collins joined the Air Force, and during her first month of training, her base was visited by the newest astronaut class--the first to include women--and her path was set. "I wanted to be part of our nation's space program. It's the greatest adventure on this planet--or off the planet, for that matter. I wanted to fly the Space Shuttle."
Pilot, Discovery STS-63--Collins became the first female Shuttle pilot during this 1995 mission, which included a rendezvous with the Russian Space Station Mir.
Pilot, Atlantis STS-84--This 1997 mission transferred supplies to the Mir Space Station.
Commander, Columbia STS-93--Collins became the first female Shuttle commander on this 1999 mission, which included the deployment of the Chandra X-Ray Observatory.
STS-93 Mission Patch
Regular price: $5.95
STS-63 Mission Patch
Regular price: $5.95
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