Shuttle Commander Eileen Collins

The commander for the Discovery shuttle mission is Eileen Collins. Twenty years ago she became the first woman to pilot a space shuttle. In 1998, when she was named the first woman to command a U.S. space mission, she spoke at a White House ceremony.

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Commander EILEEN COLLINS (Astronaut): Since I was a child, I've dreamed about space.

RENEE MONTAGNE, host:

The commander of the shuttle Discovery, Eileen Collins. Twenty years ago, Eileen Collins became the first woman to pilot a space shuttle. And in 1998, when she was named the first woman to command a US space mission, she spoke at a White House ceremony.

(Soundbite of ceremony)

Cmdr. COLLINS: There's so many women throughout this century that have gone before me and have taken to the skies, from the first barnstormers through the women military Air Force service pilots and, most important, the first women astronauts. All these women have been my role models and my inspiration.

MONTAGNE: Commander Eileen Collins. She is set to command the shuttle Discovery once it's cleared to fly. And you can find a history of past and present shuttles at npr.org.

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