NASA Astronaut Eileen Collins retires

May 01, 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: Amazing raw Cassini images from this week

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Feeling bad at work can be a good thing

22 minutes ago

(Phys.org) —Research by the University of Liverpool suggests that, contrary to popular opinion, it can be good to feel bad at work, whilst feeling good in the workplace can also lead to negative outcomes.

Recommended for you

Amazing raw Cassini images from this week

12 hours ago

When Saturn is at its closest to Earth, it's three-quarters of a billion miles away—or more than a billion kilometers! That makes these raw images from the ringed planet all the more remarkable.

Europe launches two navigation satellites

12 hours ago

Two satellites for Europe's rival to GPS were lifted into space on Friday to boost the Galileo constellation to six orbiters of a final 30, the European Space Agency (ESA) said.

SpaceX gets 10-year tax exemption for Texas site

13 hours ago

Cameron County commissioners have agreed to waive 10 years of county taxes as part of an agreement bringing the world's first commercial site for orbital rocket launches to the southernmost tip of Texas.

Voyager map details Neptune's strange moon Triton

14 hours ago

(Phys.org) —NASA's Voyager 2 spacecraft gave humanity its first close-up look at Neptune and its moon Triton in the summer of 1989. Like an old film, Voyager's historic footage of Triton has been "restored" ...

How the sun caused an aurora this week

15 hours ago

On the evening of Aug. 20, 2014, the International Space Station was flying past North America when it flew over the dazzling, green blue lights of an aurora. On board, astronaut Reid Wiseman captured this ...

User comments : 0