Eileen Collins: Introduction (01:46)
Collins, born in Elmira, New York, admired Amelia Earhart and W.A.S.P. pilots. She became a pilot and astronaut, and was the first woman to command a Space Shuttle mission.
Collins' Early Years (02:30)
Collins was born in 1956 in Elmira, New York and raised by her mother. As a teenager, she became interested in flight and took flying lessons. She graduated from Syracuse University, joined the Air Force, and volunteered for pilot training.
Working toward NASA (02:51)
Collins formulated a plan to become part of the space program. She completed high performance flight, earned two Master's degrees, became an instructor pilot, and entered test pilot school; she submitted a NASA application and was accepted.
NASA Astronaut (03:18)
Collins served in a succession of rolls while awaiting the opportunity for space flight. STS-63 was her first flight assignment.
STS-63 Flight Assignment (03:41)
Collins had several duties during her first flight assignment. She reflects on looking at Earth from space. The Space Shuttle crew's rendezvous with Mir and recovery of Spartan 204 was successful.
Second Shuttle Flight (02:36)
Collins awaited a second opportunity for space flight and gave birth to a daughter in the interim. STS-84 was her second mission to Mir; she went aboard the space station.
Shuttle Command (03:04)
Collins became the first female shuttle commander. Despite a media frenzy, Collins remained focused on her mission and her crew. STS-93 launched in July 1999.
Successful Astronaut (01:55)
Collins reflects on her changed perspective since having been in space; she has a global outlook. After she returned from space, she got back in line for another mission.
Credits: Legends of Air Power: Eileen Collins (00:27)
Credits: Legends of Air Power: Eileen Collins
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