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  Astronaut Eileen Collins leaves NASA

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Author Topic:   Astronaut Eileen Collins leaves NASA
James Brown
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posted 05-01-2006 09:00 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for James Brown   Click Here to Email James Brown     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
From Florida Today's Flame Trench:
Eileen Collins leaves NASA

The commander of the 2005 shuttle return to flight mission is leaving NASA. Eileen Collins, the first woman to pilot a space shuttle and the first woman to command a U.S. spacecraft, is retiring from the space agency.

Collins' departure is not unexpected. In the runup to the return to flight mission, she dodged the question of her possible retirement from the astronaut corps. At the same time, she noted that she had flown four times and that other, younger, and less frequent fliers needed to get experience before she needed a fifth flight.

NASA's press release on her retirement says she is off to pursue private interests and spend more time with her family.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 05-01-2006 09:27 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
NASA release
NASA Astronaut Eileen Collins Completes Career of Space Firsts

Astronaut Eileen Collins is leaving NASA. Collins was the first woman to command a space shuttle and the leader of Discovery's Return to Flight mission last year. She 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, 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' career at NASA has been punctuated by firsts. She was 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.

"Eileen is a true pioneer in space and on Earth," said Mike Coats, director of NASA's Johnson Space Center, Houston. "Her service and dedication to her country, to NASA and to space exploration are an inspiration. She meets every challenge with confidence and an ever-present smile."

Collins was selected as an astronaut in 1990. She served as the pilot on mission STS-63 in February 1995, the first shuttle mission to rendezvous with the Russian Mir Space Station. In May 1997, she flew as pilot on mission STS- 84, the sixth shuttle flight to dock to Mir. Collins commanded the Space Shuttle Columbia on mission STS-93 in July 1999, the flight that launched the Chandra X-Ray Observatory.

Her most recent space flight was as commander of July's STS-114 mission, the first shuttle flight since the Columbia accident in 2003. During the 14- day mission, Collins and her six-member crew tested new shuttle safety enhancements and resupplied the International Space Station.

"Eileen is a gifted leader who knows what it takes to get a team through the most difficult of times," said Flight Crew Operations Director Ken Bowersox. "All of us will feel Eileen's absence, but regardless of the path she pursues after leaving NASA, I know she will continue to exert a positive influence on the explorers of today and tomorrow."

PowerCat
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posted 05-01-2006 10:31 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for PowerCat   Click Here to Email PowerCat     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Best retirement wishes to Cmdr. Collins. She is an inspiration to future space voyagers!

Michael Davis
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posted 05-01-2006 11:50 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Michael Davis   Click Here to Email Michael Davis     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Cmdr. Collins is a class act. She has always been gracious with her time and remained one of the few astronauts who seemed to take fans of the space program seriously. I can't think of a better person to have lead us on the return to flight last year. I wish her the best. It truly is a loss for NASA. Godspeed Cmdr. Collins.

ASCAN1984
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posted 05-01-2006 01:43 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for ASCAN1984   Click Here to Email ASCAN1984     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
She has always been gracious to us collectors. Indeed a loss but i wish her the best of luck.

Mike Isbell
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posted 05-01-2006 03:06 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Mike Isbell     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I remember Col. Collins saying after the STS-114 flight that, while she would like to fly another mission, with the shuttle program schedualed to be terminated upon the completion of the ISS assembly, she did not won't to take one of the limited number of remaining seats away from one of the newer astronauts. I feel that Col. Collins decission not to fly again was probably the unselfish one to make. I'm only sorry to learn that she will not be staying with NASA in a management position. Best of luck Col.!

chappy
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posted 05-01-2006 04:29 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for chappy   Click Here to Email chappy     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
On behalf of those British people who are interested in the American space program, we wish Eileen Collins the very best luck in her new career, and she had proven that the best man for the job is a woman. She inspires all these women who are in awe of her courage, leadership, bravery in human manned spaceflight.

I'm sad to hear that she left NASA to pursue a new career and greatly missed her. Good luck Eileen for your new future and her name will never be forgotten. Good luck!

Regards,
Paul

KSCartist
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posted 05-01-2006 06:35 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for KSCartist   Click Here to Email KSCartist     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I had the great pleasure of meeting Eileen Collins twice, in 1999 and last year. What a gracious lady and a true American Hero. All of us who follow the space program will miss her. Hopefully she will still be able to visit and inspire young people where ever and what ever she does.

Godspeed Eileen - Aim Higher!

Tim

Hilary
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posted 05-01-2006 08:05 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Hilary   Click Here to Email Hilary     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
When she and several members of the RTF crew came to MSFC, she pretty much said that she was finished flying the shuttle so this announcement was not totally unexpected. This was the first time that I had met Eileen Collins and was thoroughly impressed with her speech and interaction with the kids that were there that day. After the talk, she did take the time to stop and sign autographs for several of us NASA employees that were waiting in the lobby with crew pictures. In fact, she apologized to me for signing so quickly and stated that she norminally took longer to sign so that everyone got a good signature. I was just thrilled that she and the other crew members took the time to sign our pictures! She will be missed at NASA, but best wishes for her future endeavors!

Hilary

ASCAN1984
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posted 05-02-2006 03:02 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for ASCAN1984   Click Here to Email ASCAN1984     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Although we all are sad to see her leave reading "Riding Rockets" by Mike Mullane really makes us understand the worries about their families astronauts face. She has pioneered and I wish her every success.

RMH
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posted 05-03-2006 03:34 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for RMH   Click Here to Email RMH     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
It's sad to see her go. Is this effective immediately or will she stay around for a few months?

dcfowler1
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posted 05-03-2006 06:39 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for dcfowler1   Click Here to Email dcfowler1     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Given the fact that she had four flights, including two as commander, and also given the fact that the remaining seats are being doled out very judiciously to mostly the later classes, she really stood no chance of flying again.

Dave

ASCAN1984
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posted 05-08-2006 11:30 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for ASCAN1984   Click Here to Email ASCAN1984     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
There is a kind of goodbye video on nasa.gov.

David Stephenson
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posted 05-09-2006 03:19 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for David Stephenson   Click Here to Email David Stephenson     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Eileen Collins will keep on inspiring a lot of people and on a personal note she very kindly signed me a couple of items which I appreciated as I respect her a lot.

I wish her well,
David.

ftrastronaut
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posted 12-26-2007 04:42 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for ftrastronaut   Click Here to Email ftrastronaut     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Eileen Collins is my hero and I have always wanted to meet her. It feels like I have tried everything. Does anyone have any ideas on how to meet her? Anything at all would be helpful. Thanks!

Robert Pearlman
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posted 12-26-2007 04:46 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by ftrastronaut:
Does anyone have any ideas on how to meet her?
Watch our Sightings calendar and specifically the page dedicated to Eileen Collins' appearances.

Since leaving NASA, Collins has joined the speaker circuit, so while it may take some time for an event to coincide with your availability, the chances are good that eventually your paths can cross.

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posted 12-26-2007 06:26 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for ftrastronaut   Click Here to Email ftrastronaut     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I would go to the event in January, but I can't miss school. I'll keep watching to see if there are more events. I would just love so much to meet her and I hear she a very, very nice person! If anyone has had the previlage of meeting her, could you tell me what she's like.

FFrench
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posted 12-26-2007 06:38 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for FFrench     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by ftrastronaut:
I would go to the event in January, but I can't miss school.

When you say 'school,' how old are you? I know of some 5th-8th Grade events she has done in the past.

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posted 12-26-2007 06:46 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for ftrastronaut   Click Here to Email ftrastronaut     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I'm a sophomore in high school and if I miss then I'll have to take finals. I mean, I would gladly miss to hear her speak, but I have all A's and I'm afraid if I take finals they will make my grades drop and I can't have that.

FFrench
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posted 12-26-2007 06:51 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for FFrench     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I see, thanks. I was asking because Collins has spoken at some of the Sally Ride Science festivals around the country, aimed at those grades. Robert will add those festivals to the calendar when they come up, I am sure.

And I am sure there is no spacefarer in the world who would want you to get worse grades by coming to see them! So you're making the right decision - other chances will come along, I am sure. Who knows, keep getting As and one day she may be in the audience listening to YOU speak about your life adventures.

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posted 12-26-2007 07:00 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for ftrastronaut   Click Here to Email ftrastronaut     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I had to read that last part twice, it made me get goose bumps when you said that my hero might be listening to me speak one day! It means a lot to me to know that someone cares about me meeting my hero. I'll keep watching the events and hopefully there is one during the summer. I just really, really want to meet her. Not sure what I would say to her besides um...um...hi, but I'm sure I could come up with something.

FFrench
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posted 12-26-2007 07:16 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for FFrench     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Stranger things have happened - to many people on this website, who have ended up meeting and working with the spacefarers in various ways. Many have worked hard to get into dream jobs where such opportunities can happen a lot. Good luck in reaching your own goals!

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posted 12-26-2007 09:32 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for ftrastronaut   Click Here to Email ftrastronaut     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
When I meet her I'll let you know. I hope I get to meet her soon, but I'm sure meeting my hero will definately be worth the wait!

KSCartist
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posted 12-27-2007 05:25 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for KSCartist   Click Here to Email KSCartist     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by ftrastronaut:
Eileen Collins is my hero and I have always wanted to meet her.
You couldn't ask for a better role model. Eileen Collins is a warm and gracious lady. I had the pleasure of meeting her twice. The first time was in 1999 when I painted a portrait of her honoring her first command of a shuttle mission. (It now hangs in the City Hall of her hometown).

The second was at an appearance by her and the 114 crew at KSC after their mission in 2005.

While waiting to meet her, you might write to her in care of the astronaut office at JSC.

I look forward to seeing you walk on the Moon someday.

all the best,
Tim

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posted 12-27-2007 08:49 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for ftrastronaut   Click Here to Email ftrastronaut     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I have written her twice. The first time all I got was an autograph and the second time I got a personalized autograph and her sts-93 crew picture. I have it sitting on a shelf with all my other NASA stuff in my room. I look at it everday and every time I do, I get so inspired because I think of all she has done. I guess that's why I really want to meet her.

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posted 12-27-2007 08:12 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for ftrastronaut   Click Here to Email ftrastronaut     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I just wanted to thank everyone that has given me advice on meeting Eileen. I can't wait to actually meet her, it's going to be great! If anyone else has any ideas on meeting her, I'm open. Thanks again!

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posted 09-07-2008 01:50 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for ftrastronaut   Click Here to Email ftrastronaut     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Wow! It's been forever since I've posted anything on here! The reason I'm back on this forum is because I am actually getting the chance to meet Eileen in November. I get to go to the 2008 Spreading Wings Gala and I'm so excited! For those of you that have had the opportunity to meet her, could you tell me a little bit about her personality so I don't make a complete fool of myself when I meet her. I tend to joke around with people and I really hope I don't say anything too stupid to her. So, I was just wondering a little about what to expect. Thanks everyone!

KSCartist
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posted 09-08-2008 05:49 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for KSCartist   Click Here to Email KSCartist     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Just take a deep breath and let it out. Relax and be yourself.

She is a kind and gracious lady who enjoys speaking to people who are excited about space exploration. She honestly appreciates the support.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 02-26-2009 09:41 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
GB Tech release
Eileen Collins Joins GB Tech as Program Manager of ITAMS Team

GB Tech announced today that Eileen Collins, former Space Shuttle Commander has been named Program Manager of the GB Tech-led Information Technology and Multimedia Services (ITAMS) team, based in Houston, Texas.

In 2008, GB Tech began pursuit of NASA's Information Technology and Multimedia Services (ITAMS) procurement, planned for mid 2009. Collins' main responsibilities will be to lead the team's Program Office for this effort.

"Eileen brings extensive program leadership, technical understanding, and strong public relations experience to this position," said Gale Burkett, CEO of GB Tech. "Her leadership, background and qualifications will be a perfect fit to lead this highly skilled team."

Collins' background includes 16 years of experience working with NASA in various leadership positions. Selected by NASA in 1990, Eileen became an astronaut in 1991. Initially assigned to Orbiter engineering support, she also served on the astronaut support team, worked in Mission Control as a spacecraft communicator, served as the Astronaut Office Spacecraft Systems Branch Chief, Chief Information Officer, Shuttle Branch Chief, and Astronaut Safety Branch Chief. Collins served as pilot on STS-63 and STS- 84, and commander on STS-93 and STS-114. A veteran of four space flights, Eileen logged over 872 hours in space and retired from NASA in May 2006.

The NASA Johnson Space Center (JSC) plans to issue a Request for Proposal (RFP) for the Information Technology and Multimedia Services (ITAMS) contract located at JSC this spring. This new contract will merge requirements under the current JSC Information Management and Media Services (JIMMS) contract and the JSC Enabling Technology and Security (JETS) contract, as well as information technology requirements from 9 other JSC contracts.

GB Tech is a full-service engineering and information technology company, and is consistently recognized as one of the top 100 minority-owned businesses in Houston. Founded in 1985, GB Tech is a proven service provider, delivering high performance solutions to assist government and commercial clients in meeting their mission goals. The GB Tech ITAMS team members possess unparalleled experience in information technology and multimedia solutions. That experience, coupled with new state-of-the-art processes and technologies, will provide the necessary elements to support the NASA mission in the future.

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