NASA Astronaut Eileen Collins retires

May 1, 2006
Eileen Collins

NASA Astronaut Eileen Collins, the first woman to command a space shuttle, has announced her retirement.

Collins, the pilot of the shuttle Discovery's return to flight mission last year, plans to pursue private interests and spend more time with family.

"Eileen Collins is a living, breathing example of the best that our nation has to offer," said NASA Administrator Michael Griffin. "She is, of course, a brave, superb pilot and a magnificent crew commander. Beyond those qualities, she is both very bright and modestly self-effacing about that fact.

"And above all," added Griffin, "she is possessed of a quiet determination to attain the very highest levels of accomplishment. I am proud to know her and will greatly miss her at NASA."

A veteran of four space flights, Collins was selected as an astronaut in 1990 and went on to become the first woman selected as a pilot astronaut, the first woman to serve as a shuttle pilot and the first woman to command a U.S. spacecraft.

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

Explore further: Woman hoping for a chance to explore Mars, but skeptics question mission

Related Stories

Recommended for you

New Horizons team selects potential Kuiper Belt flyby target

August 29, 2015

NASA has selected the potential next destination for the New Horizons mission to visit after its historic July 14 flyby of the Pluto system. The destination is a small Kuiper Belt object (KBO) known as 2014 MU69 that orbits ...

Dawn spacecraft sends sharper scenes from Ceres

August 25, 2015

The closest-yet views of Ceres, delivered by NASA's Dawn spacecraft, show the small world's features in unprecedented detail, including Ceres' tall, conical mountain; crater formation features and narrow, braided fractures.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.