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Space Shuttle Columbia makes launch after third try
KSC99072302 - 23 JULY 1999 - CAPE CANAVERAL, FLORIDA, USA: Space Shuttle Columbia commander Eileen Collins suits up before launch, July 22. Columbia later made a successful liftoff from Launch Pad 39-B on mission STS-93. Liftoff occurred at 12:31 a.m. EDT, July 23. STS-93 is a five-day mission primarily to release the Chandra X-ray Observatory, which will allow scientists from around the world to study some of the most distant, powerful and dynamic objects in the universe. The crew numbers five: Commander Eileen M. Collins, Pilot Jeffrey S. Ashby, and Mission Specialists Stephen A. Hawley (Ph.D.), Catherine G. Coleman (Ph.D.) and Michel Tognini of France, with the Centre National d'Etudes Spatiales (CNES). Collins is the first woman to serve as commander of a Shuttle mission. The target landing date is July 27, 1999, at 11:20 p.m. EDT. iw/NASA UPI.
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Eileen Marie Collins (b. November 19, 1956 in Elmira, New York) is a retired American astronaut and a retired U.S. Air Force Colonel. A former military instructor and test pilot, Collins was the first female pilot and first female commander of a Space Shuttle. She was awarded several medals for her work. Col. Collins has logged 38 days 8 hours and 10 minutes in outer space. Collins retired on May 1, 2006 to pursue private interests, including service as a board member of USAA.

She is married with two children.

Collins first flew the Space Shuttle as pilot in 1995 aboard STS-63, which involved a rendezvous between Discovery and the Russian space station Mir. In recognition of her achievement as the first female Shuttle Pilot, she received the Harmon Trophy. She was also the pilot for STS-84 in 1997.

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License.
It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Eileen Collins."
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