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Florida Space Day Welcomes First Woman Space Shuttle Commander Colonel Eileen Collins

Orlando, Florida – On February 19, 2019, Florida’s space industry representatives will visit Tallahassee to participate in Florida Space Day. Private companies, local, state and federal agencies, and academic institutions will participate in this unique, annual event, meant to educate our state leaders on the challenges and opportunities Florida has during this dynamic time in the space program. Florida Space Day is honored that this year’s event will include special guest speaker and astronaut Colonel Eileen Collins.


2019 celebrates the 20th anniversary of when Colonel Eileen Collins was the first, and only one of two women Space Shuttle Commanders.  In 1995, Collins piloted Discovery STS-63, where she became the first woman Shuttle pilot during this mission, which included a rendezvous with the Russian Space Station Mir.


In 1997, Collins piloted Atlantis STS-84 in which this mission transferred supplies to the Mir Space Station.


In 1999, Collins become the first woman Shuttle commander for Columbia STS-93 which included the deployed of the Chandra X-Ray Observatory.


In 2005, Collins went on to command STS-114, NASA’s “return to flight” mission to test safety improvements and resupply the International Space Station (ISS).


Collins is a 26-year veteran of the U.S. Air Force.  She serves on the Board of Directors of the Astronauts Memorial Foundation (AMF), the National Space Council User Advisory Group, and works closely with the Astronaut Scholarship Foundation (ASF).  Collins also serves on the Board of Directors of USAA, a company that serves the financial needs of military members.  In these roles, Collins supports and memorializes those who have sacrificed and encourages young people to innovate and take the U.S. to the next great adventure.


Florida Space Day is honored to welcome Eileen Collins on this very special anniversary celebrating such an historic time for women then and now moving forward as we shift towards the future of space exploration and the increased technologies that will be needed to make that possible.


Florida Space Day is a milestone event that presents an opportunity to educate and bring awareness to Florida legislators on the significance of the aerospace industry and its impact on Florida’s economy.  The aerospace industry represents billions of dollars in annual economic impact and employs thousands of residents in the state’s 67 counties.  Florida Space Day’s mission was developed to ensure that Florida remains at the forefront of the nation’s space program.


The Astronaut Scholarship Foundation (ASF) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization established by the six surviving Mercury 7 astronauts. ASF’s mission is to aid the United States in retaining its world leadership in technology and innovation by supporting the very best and brightest college scholars in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics while commemorating the legacy of America’s pioneering astronauts.



Contact: Krissy Stewart

Office: 407-403-5945