(WETM) – Retired NASA astronaut and United States Air Force Colonel Eileen Collins is sharing words of encouragement for her hometown of Elmira during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Collins became the first woman pilot of a U.S. space shuttle in February 1995 and in July 1999 became the first woman to command a shuttle mission as the Commander for STS-93 Columbia, one of four space shuttle missions she flew on.
Collins received her Associate’s degree in mathematics/science from Corning Community College; a bachelor’s degree in mathematics and economics from Syracuse University; a master’s degree in operations research from Stanford University; and a master’s degree in space systems management from Webster University.
In 1995 Collins was inducted into the National Women’s Hall of Fame and logged over 6,751 hours in 30 different types of aircraft.
Collins retired from NASA in 2006 and has received numerous awards, including the Distinguished Flying Cross, Defense Meritorious Service Medal, French Legion of Honor, NASA Outstanding Leadership Medal, Free Spirit Award, and the National Space Trophy.