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Eileen Collins

Eileen Collins was the first female commander of a space shuttle mission.

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Eileen Collins

Selected by NASA in January 1990, Collins became an astronaut in July 1991. Initially assigned to Orbiter engineering support, Collins has also served on the astronaut support team responsible for Orbiter prelaunch checkout, final launch configuration, crew ingress/egress, landing/recovery, worked in Mission Control as a spacecraft communicator (CAPCOM), served as the Astronaut Office Spacecraft Systems Branch Chief, Chief Information Officer, Shuttle Branch Chief, and Astronaut Safety Branch Chief. Collins served as pilot on STS-63 (February 3-11, 1995) and STS-84 (May 15-24, 1997), and was the commander on STS-93 (July 22-27, 1999) and STS-114 (July 26 to August 9, 2005). A veteran of four space flights, Collins has logged over 872 hours in space. Collins retired from NASA in May 2006.

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STS-63 Pilot Eileen M. Collins at the pilot’s station during “hotfiring” procedure to clear leaking thruster prior to rendezvous with Russia’s Mir Space Station. (3-11 Feb. 1995)
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Eileen Collins – NASA’s First Female Shuttle Commander

On her last mission, Eileen Collins became the first (and currently only) female Shuttle commander. On her next, she will…

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Women Astronauts and the International Space Station

As of March 2021, 65 women have flown in space. Of these, 38 have visited the International Space Station as long-duration expedition crewmembers, as visitors on space shuttle assembly flights or as space flight participants. It is fitting to recognize the significant accomplishments of these women as well as the pioneering women who preceded them into space and made their spaceflights possible.

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