All Eyes On Astronaut Eileen Collins

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First woman to command NASA's space shuttle poised to do it again in May.

She's flown into history books twice before: In 1995 Eileen Collins became the first woman to pilot the space shuttle, and then in 1999 she became its first female commander. Now Eileen is ready to make history again as commander of the first shuttle flight since the tragic Columbia disaster two years ago. The 12-day mission aboard the shuttle Discovery is set to take off on May 15.

Who is Eileen Collins? How did she become an astronaut? How did she achieve such impressive milestones? These questions are answered in the book Dream It Do It: Inspiring Stories of Dreams Come True, ISBN #1884587305. Eileen talked with co-author Graciela Sholander to shed light on how a young girl fascinated with airplanes became NASA’s first woman astronaut to pilot and command the space shuttle.

In Dream It Do It readers learn how:

• Young Eileen would watch planes take off and land while she sat on the hood of her dad’s car drinking an A&W root beer

• A Junior Scholastic magazine article sparked her interest in space exploration

• She built a successful Air Force career at a time when very few women saw the military as a viable career option

• Eileen made history in two of her three flights to date

• The images she observed from space forever transformed her

In Dream It Do It, which profiles 37 successful dream achievers including Jimmy Carter, Maya Angelou, Lance Armstrong, Gloria Estefan, Yo-Yo Ma, Barbara Walters, and Tiger Woods, readers will find exclusive quotes directly from Eileen Collins. Here’s a sample excerpt: “… And then we came down across the Middle East, Israel, the Persian Gulf, the Sinai Peninsula, Egypt, the Nile River … just absolutely gorgeous … blue water, tan desert. Looking down again, thinking about all the history that took place down there was just tremendous.”

Dream It Do It (ISBN #1884587305) is available at bookstores and online outlets including and In addition, Dream It Do It is available toll-free weekdays 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. CST at 888-366-5200 and online at where you'll find sample chapters, table of contents, reviews, and free updates.

To request interviews or to quote from Dream It Do It, please contact:

  • Daniel Lauber, Planning/Communications, tel. 708-366-5200,
  • Graciela Sholander, Dream It Do It, tel. 970-282-3777,
  • Sharon Cook, Dream It Do It, tel. 760-898-1256,

Or visit to learn more.


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Graciela Sholander

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