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CXC Biographies: Eileen Collins
(Colonel, USAF) NASA Astronaut
Eileen Collins

Personal Data - Born November 19, 1956, in Elmira, New York. Married to Pat Youngs, originally from San Antonio, Texas. They have one child. She enjoys running, golf, hiking, camping, reading, photography, astronomy. Her parents are James and Rose Marie Collins, from Elmira, New York. His parents are Pat and Jackie Youngs, from San Antonio, Texas.

Education - Graduated from Elmira Free Academy, Elmira, New York, in 1974; received an associate in science degree in mathematics/science from Corning Community College in 1976; a bachelor of arts degree in mathematics and economics from Syracuse University in 1978; a master of science degree in operations research from Stanford University in 1986; and a master of arts degree in space systems management from Webster University in 1989.

Organizations - Member of the Air Force Association, Order of Daedalians, Women Military Aviators, U.S. Space Foundation, the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, and the Ninety-Nines.

Special Honors - Awarded the Defense Superior Service Medal, the Air Force Meritorious Service Medal with one oak leaf cluster, the Air Force Commendation Medal with one oak leaf cluster, the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal for service in Grenada (Operation Urgent Fury, October 1983), and the NASA Space Flight Medal.

Experience - Collins graduated in 1979 from Air Force Undergraduate Pilot Training at Vance AFB, Oklahoma, where she was a T-38 instructor pilot until 1982. From 1983 to 1985, she was a C-141 aircraft commander and instructor pilot at Travis AFB, California. She spent the following year as a student with the Air Force Institute of Technology. From 1986 to 1989, she was assigned to the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado, where she was an assistant professor in mathematics and a T-41 instructor pilot. She was selected for the astronaut program while attending the Air Force Test Pilot School at Edwards AFB, California, from which she graduated in 1990.

She has logged over 5,000 hours in 30 different types of aircraft.

NASA Experience - Selected by NASA in January 1990, Collins became an astronaut in July 1991. Initially assigned to Orbiter engineering support, she 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) for numerous shuttle missions, and served as the Astronaut Office Spacecraft Systems Branch Chief. A veteran of three space flights, Collins has logged over 537 hours in space. She served as pilot on STS-63 (February 2-11, 1995) and STS-84 (May 15-24, 1997), and was the first woman Shuttle commander on STS-93 (July 22-27, 1999).

Space Flight Experience- STS-63 (February 2-11, 1995) was the first flight of the new joint Russian-American Space Program. Mission highlights included the rendezvous with the Russian Space Station Mir, operation of Spacehab, the deployment and retrieval of an astronomy satellite, and a space walk. Collins' first mission was accomplished in 129 orbits, traveling over 2.9 million miles in 198 hours, 29 minutes. She was the first woman pilot of a Space Shuttle.

STS-84 (May 15-24, 1997) was NASA's sixth Shuttle mission to rendezvous and dock with the Russian Space Station Mir. During the flight, the crew conducted a number of secondary experiments and transferred nearly 4 tons of supplies and experiment equipment between Atlantis and the Mir station. In completing this 9-day mission, she traveled 3.8 million miles in 145 orbits of the Earth logging a total of 221 hours and 20 minutes in space.

STS-93 Columbia (July 22-27, 1999) was the first Shuttle mission to be commanded by a woman. STS-93 highlighted the deployment of the Chandra X-Ray Observatory. Designed to conduct comprehensive studies of the universe, the telescope will enable scientists to study exotic phenomena such as exploding stars, quasars, and black holes. Mission duration was 118 hours and 50 minutes.

JULY 1999

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