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Eileen M. Collins


Collins was born November 19, 1956, in Elmira, New York. Married to Pat Youngs, originally from San Antonio, Texas. They have one child. She graduated from Elmira Free Academy, Elmira, New York, in 1974; received an associate in science degree in mathematics/science from Corning Community College in 1976; a bachelor of arts degree in mathematics and economics from Syracuse University in 1978; a master of science degree in operations research from Stanford University in 1986; and a master of arts degree in space systems management from Webster University in 1989.

Selected by NASA in January 1990, Collins became an astronaut in July 1991. Initially assigned to Orbiter engineering support, she has also served on the astronaut support team responsible for Orbiter prelaunch checkout, final launch configuration, crew ingress/egress, landing/recovery, worked in Mission Control as a spacecraft communicator (CAPCOM) for numerous shuttle missions, and served as the Astronaut Office Spacecraft Systems Branch Chief. A veteran of two space flights, Collins has logged over 419 hours in space. She served as pilot on STS-63 (February 2-11, 1995) and STS-84 (May 15-24, 1997).

Collins is the first woman assigned as a Space Shuttle Commander. She will command the crew of STS-93 on a 5-day mission aboard Space Shuttle Columbia. STS-93 will highlight the deployment of the newly christened Chandra X-ray Observatory, also known as the Advanced X-ray Astrophysics Facility Imaging System (AXAF). Designed to conduct comprehensive studies of the universe, Chandra will enable scientists to study exotic phenomena such as exploding stars, quasars, and black holes. STS-93 is scheduled for launch in April, 1999.

Additional biographical information on the STS-93 crew members and other NASA astronauts is available on the World Wide Web at:

Curator: Kim Dismukes | Responsible NASA Official: John Ira Petty | Updated: 04/07/2002
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