November 19, 1956 – Asrtronaut Eillen Collins is born
Eileen Collins was the first female Commander and Shuttle Pilot for NASA. She was born November 19, 1956. She retired from NASA in 2006. Her first Pilot assigment was aboard STS-63 in 1995. She also piloted STS-84 in 1997. She Commanded STS-93 (1999), the first-such for a female; and recently commanded STS-112 in 2005.
“Collins recently commanded STS-114, NASA’s “return to flight” mission to test safety improvements and resupply the International Space Station (ISS). The flight was launched on 26 July 2005, and returned on 9 August 2005. During STS-114, Collins became the first astronaut to fly the space shuttle through a complete 360-degree pitch maneuver. This was necessary so astronauts aboard the ISS could take photographs of the shuttle’s belly, to ensure there was no threat from debris-related damage to the shuttle upon re-entry.”