Eileen Collins

Commander of space shuttles

Early Life

Eileen was born on November 19, 1956, in Elmira, New York. Eileen had gotten her Associates degree in Science at Corning Community College in New York. She also got her B.A. in, mathematics and economics at Syracuse University. This had all happened in the year 1978. Then in 1983, she transferred to Travis Air Force Base in California. At Stanford University in, 1986, Eileen got her MS degree in operations research. In 1990, she was the 2nd woman to graduate as a test pilot.


She was the first NASA female pilot on a space shuttle mission. And the second in command of the DIscovery Shuttle. 1996 she gave birth to her daughter. Eileen piloted the Shuttle Atlantis in May, 1997. It had held 7,000 pounds of equipment. She logged 419 hours in space. NASA had chosen her as the first female commander. The shuttle Colombia, Collins was commanding and it made history on July 23,1999. It had blasted from Cape Canaveral, Florida.

Later Life

She liked to keep her family very private and out of the spotlight. She had two children, Bridget and Luke. For Eileen it was hard for her to separate from work. Eileen retired from her job in May and there wasn't really any time to clean out her office.


"Eileen Collins Biography." A&E Televison Networks LLC. 2013. Web. 13 Mar. 2013. <www.biography.com>.

Dean, Brandi, and Johnson Space Center, Houston. "Eileen Collins: Astronauts Endless Endeavor." NASA. NASA, 8 Jan. 2007. Web. 13 Mar. 2013. <www.nasa.gov>.

"Eileen Collins." Eileen Collins Biogrpahy. 2013. Web. 14 Jan. 2013. <www.noteablebiographies.com>.