The Aero Club of New England (ACONE) will present the Godfrey L. Cabot Award to Col. Eileen Collins, USAF (Retired), the first female shuttle pilot and commander, Wednesday, June 22, at the Harvard Club, 374 Commonwealth Ave, Boston.
In 1995, Collins commanded Space Shuttle, STS -63 Discovery, the first flight of the new joint Russian-American Space Program. The mission included a rendezvous with the Russian Space Station Mir, operation of Spacehab, the deployment and retrieval of an astronomy satellite, and a space walk.
Collins has also achieved many other firsts: She was the first female commander of a U.S. spacecraft with Shuttle mission STS-93, launched in July 1999, which deployed the Chandra X-Ray Observatory, designed to conduct comprehensive studies of the universe, enabling scientists to study exotic phenomena such as exploding stars, quasars, and black holes.
She also commanded STS-114, NASA’s “return to flight” mission to test safety improvements and resupply the International Space Station (ISS).
Launched on July 26, 2005, and returned on Aug. 9, 2005, she became the first astronaut to fly the space shuttle through a complete 360° pitch maneuver, 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 reentry. After a two-week, 5.8 million mile journey in space, the orbiter and its crew of seven astronauts returned to land at Edwards Air Force Base, California
Since her retirement from NASA, she has been a Space Shuttle analyst covering Shuttle launches and landings for CNN.
Collins is an inductee of the National Women’s Hall Of Fame. She has also been recognized by Encyclopedia Britannica as one of the top 300 women in history who have changed the world.
The Godfrey L. Cabot Award is bestowed by the Aero Club of New England, the oldest aero club in the Americas, to individuals or teams who have made unique and unparalleled contributions to encourage and advance aviation and space flight.
For more information: www.acone.org or 781-592-9357