Friday, October 10, 2008

Profile: Marie Collins

It's space and astronomy week at!

As the first female to pilot a space shuttle, female astronaut and pilot Marie Eileen Collins is an example of a woman who achieved her dreams despite childhood obstacles. Born in upstate New York, her family often struggled to make ends meet while she was growing up. Inspired by early woman pilots such as Amelia Earhart inspired her, she dreamed of one day becoming a pilot herself.

After completing high school she attended and put herself through a local community college and then graduated from Syracuse University with an undergraduate degree. After graduation, she entered training to become an Air Force pilot. Like fellow astronaut Sally Ride (who we featured earlier this week!), she later earned a graduate degree from Stanford University.

Marie has travelled to space four times during her career at NASA. She became the first female pilot in 1995 aboard shuttle STS-63 and on a later mission aboard STS-93 she became the first female commander of a space flight. Her most recent and last trip into space was in 2005. She retired from NASA in 2006.

Marie has received a long list of awards for her accomplishments from the U.S. Military and NASA. She was also awarded the French Legion of Honor and has been inducted into the women's hall of fame.

This week, check out stargazing tips, read stories written by other girls, and articles about other women who have worked with NASA at

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