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Behind the Wings ®
The Podcast – S2, Episode 12

Strap in folks, we are going to Space! Eileen Collins blazed her own trail, defying the grip of Earth’s gravity, and breaking a glass ceiling into the cosmos.

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There is no doubt in my mind that this is going to be a great episode – Col. Collins has lived an amazing life, and though she has retired from the NASA astronaut program, her mission to share her story and inspire the next generation of explorers is far from over. Many of us can only dream of a career like hers – from her achievements as the first woman to command an American space mission and the first to pilot the space shuttle to her early years as one of the Air Force’s first female pilots.

Eileen is one of those pioneers who forever changed the trajectory of space exploration – this one’s going to be cool!

Key Takeaways:
  • Eileen Collins was born in 1956 in Elmira, New York.
  • She received a Bachelor of Science degree in mathematics and economics from Syracuse University in 1978.
  • Collins joined the Air Force in 1979 where she was in the first class of women to earn pilot’s wings at Vance Air Force Base.
  • She was selected for the astronaut program in 1990.
  • Collins made her first trip to space in 1995 as a member of the STS-63 crew.
  • In 1999, Collins became the first woman to command a space shuttle when she led the STS-93 mission.
  • She commanded two more space shuttle missions: STS-114 in 2005 and STS-121 in 2006.
  • STS-114 was the first shuttle mission following the Columbia Space Shuttle in 2003.
  • Collins retired from NASA and the Air Force in 2006.
  • After her retirement, she worked as a consultant and public speaker, and wrote the book Through the Glass Ceiling to the Stars.
  • Collins has received numerous awards and honors for her contributions to space exploration, including the Congressional Space Medal of Honor.

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References:

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