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NASA to name first woman shuttle commander

Collins
Eileen Collins aboard Discovery in 1995   
March 3, 1998
Web posted at: 9:34 p.m. EST (0234 GMT)

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- President Clinton plans to announce Thursday that NASA is naming the first woman commander of a space shuttle mission, CNN has learned.

Sources identified the astronaut as Air Force Lt. Col. Eileen Marie Collins of Elmira, New York -- who already has the distinction of being the first woman to pilot the space shuttle.

Collins joined NASA in 1990 and became an astronaut in July 1991.

She is a veteran of two space flights: shuttle missions in February 1995 and May 1997. Both missions included rendezvous with the Russian space station Mir, one of them a docking.

White House Correspondent John King contributed to this report.

 
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