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: NASA releases strange 'music' heard by 1969 astronauts

Related Stories

NASA's Top Astronaut John Young to Retire

December 8, 2004

by Amiko Nevills After four decades and half a dozen space flights - including a moonwalk and the first Shuttle mission -veteran NASA astronaut John Young is hanging up his flight suit. So, how did this amazing career of ...

Armstrong mourned by Aldrin, fellow astronauts

August 26, 2012

US astronaut Neil Armstrong's Apollo 11 comrades Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins paid tribute to their late commander's talent and accomplishments on Saturday, noting that they would miss him.

Recommended for you

Saturn's bulging core implies moons younger than thought

December 7, 2016

Freshly harvested data from NASA's Cassini mission reveals that Saturn's bulging core and twisting gravitational forces offer clues to the ages of the planet's moons. Astronomers now believe that the ringed planet's moons ...

Dark matter may be smoother than expected

December 7, 2016

Analysis of a giant new galaxy survey, made with ESO's VLT Survey Telescope in Chile, suggests that dark matter may be less dense and more smoothly distributed throughout space than previously thought. An international team ...

Cassini transmits first images from new orbit

December 7, 2016

NASA's Cassini spacecraft has sent to Earth its first views of Saturn's atmosphere since beginning the latest phase of its mission. The new images show scenes from high above Saturn's northern hemisphere, including the planet's ...

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.