Educated USAFA; Edwards.
She has logged over 4,700 hours in 30 different types of aircraft.
Selected by NASA in January 1990, Collins became an astronaut in July 1991. Initially assigned to Orbiter engineering support, she also served on the astronaut support team responsible for Orbiter prelaunch checkout, final launch configuration, crew ingress/egress, and landing/recovery. From April 1995 to October 1996, she worked in Mission Control as a spacecraft communicator (CAPCOM). A veteran of two space flights, STS-63 (February 2-11, 1995) and STS-84 (May 15-24, 1997), she has logged over 419 hours in space.
In February 1995, Collins served as pilot on STS-63, the first flight of the new joint Russian-American Space Program. Mission highlights included the rendezvous with the Russian Space Station, Mir, operation of Spacehab, the deployment and retrieval of an astronomy satellite, and a space walk. Collins' first mission was accomplished in 129 orbits, traveling over 2.9 million miles in 198 hours, 29 minutes. She was the first woman pilot of a Space Shuttle.
In May 1997, Collins served as pilot on STS-84, NASA's sixth Shuttle mission to rendezvous and dock with the Russian Space Station Mir. In completing this 9-day mission, she traveled 3.6 million miles in 144 orbits of the Earth logging a total of 221 hours and 20 minutes in space.
Birth Place: Elmira, New York.
Spaceflights: 4 .
Total time in space: 36.34 days.
Mission Specialists: Bachelor's degree in engineering, biological science, physical science or mathematics and minimum three years of related experience or an advanced degree. Vision minimum 20/150 uncorrected, correctable to 20/20. Maximum sitting blood pressure of 140/90. Height between 150 and 193 cm.. Reported to the Johnson Space Center in late July 1990 to begin their year long training. Chosen from 1945 qualified applicants, then 106 finalists screened between September and November 1989.
The orbiter payload bay contained only the Chandra spacecraft, the IUS, and the IUS tilt tableTthe following payloads were carried in the shuttle’s cabin: STL-B (Space Tissue Loss), CCM (Cell culture module), SAREX-II (Shuttle Amateur Radio Experiment), EarthKam, PGIM (Plant Growth Investigations in Microgravity), CGBA (Commercial Generic Bioprocessing Apparatus), MEMS (Micro-electric Mechanical System), and BRIC (Biological Research in Canisters) and SWUIS (the Southwest Ultraviolet Imaging System, an 0.18-m UV telescope to be used for airglow and planetary observations); GOSAMR (the Gelation of Sols: Applied Microgravity Research experiment) and LFSAH, the Lightweight Flexible Solar Array Hinge. MSX and SIMPLEX experiments were also to be carried out.
Chandra/IUS-27 was deployed from Columbia at 11:47 GMT July 23. Flight duration was limited; this was the heaviest shuttle (122,534 kg) and heaviest payload (19,736 kg) to that date. Columbia landed at 03:20 GMT on July 28 on runway 33 at Kennedy Space Center. Post-flight inspection found the presence of holes in the cooling lines on the nozzle of SSME 2019 (engine 3) which caused a hydrogen leak. A loose repair pin in the engine broke free and caused the failure. The cause of the short was found to be chaffed wiring inside the shuttle. The entire fleet was grounded for inspection and replacement of wiring as necessary.