In the early 1970’s, women weren’t allowed to take part in pilot training in the U.S. Air Force which posed a problem for a young Collins; however, everything changed in 1976.
Colonel Collins was among the first four women ever chosen for the pilot training program in the U.S. Air Force. Years later in 1990, she became a NASA astronaut and she never looked back.
In 1995, Collins made history again becoming the first woman to pilot a shuttle taking the discovery to the now-defunct MIR Space Station.
Four years later, Collins became the first female commander on the Columbia Shuttle Flight in 1999 which carried the Chandra X-ray Observatory Telescope into orbit.
She retired in 2006 after logging 872 total hours in space. Now, in present time, she’s touring the country talking about her career and her hopes for the future of space travel.
Just days ago, the Chandra telescope ran into some issues. It stopped gathering data after going into safe mode because of technical issues.