Volume 50
December 5, 2016

A Weekly Aviation Career
Newsletter from Avjobs, Inc.

A Weekly Aviation Career Newsletter from Avjobs, Inc.
 
A Weekly Aviation Career Newsletter from Avjobs, Inc.
Career Profile: Colorado Astronauts

COLORADO'S ASTRONAUTS: In Their Own Words

Wings Over The Rockies Air and Space Museum
This inspiring new exhibit features personal reflections, memorabilia and artifacts from astronauts with Colorado ties. You may not know that 20 percent of all U.S. astronauts have significant ties to the great state of Colorado! Most have birthplace, hometown or alma mater affiliations with Colorado and a few more have other well-known ties to our state.

Visit Colorado's Astronauts: In Their Own Words and learn what inspired these people to become astronauts in the first place, how they prepared for their missions, what their most memorable moments were, how Colorado influenced their careers and what space may hold for all of us in the future.

The space technology exhibits at Wings Over the Rockies Air and Space Museum include models and displays demonstrating spacecraft and missile technology both historically and in the future. Explore the science of spaceflight with our interactive exhibit and experience the adventure!

Our Space Station Module started life as Martin-Marietta's mock-up for a proposed space station entry to be called "Freedom." The original proposal was for an American-only space station. The concept was later changed to include Russia and the European Space Agency and became known as the International Space Station. Martin's entry into the proposal race was rejected and ultimately found its way to our Museum.

We also have an Apollo Command Module boilerplate. This is a full scale replica which was used by NASA to develop and test capsule retrieval procedures and train astronauts for the Apollo missions to the moon.

Anchoring the south-east corner of Wings Over the Rockies Air and Space Museum's main floor is an actual interstage skirt from a Titan IV rocket. Lockheed Martin built Titan IV's to launch large National Defense payloads into earth orbit. A Titan IV was also used to launch the National Aeronautical and Space Administration's (NASA) Cassini probe to the planet Saturn.

There are an assortment of scale models ranging in size from a table-top diorama of a moon base to a sixteen foot model of a Titan II launch vehicle as well as several hands-on exhibits demonstrating some of the conditions encountered in space.

Ask an Astronaut: Eileen Collins

Experience:
Collins graduated in 1979 from Air Force Undergraduate Pilot Training at Vance AFB, Oklahoma, where she was a T-38 instructor pilot until 1982. From 1983 to 1985, she was a C-141 aircraft commander and instructor pilot at Travis AFB, California. She spent the following year as a student with the Air Force Institute of Technology. From 1986 to 1989, she was assigned to the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado, where she was an assistant professor in mathematics and a T-41 instructor pilot. She was selected for the astronaut program while attending the Air Force Test Pilot School at Edwards AFB, California, from which she graduated in 1990.

She has logged over 6,751 hours in 30 different types of aircraft. Collins retired from the Air Force in January 2005.

NASA EXPERIENCE: Selected by NASA in January 1990, Collins became an astronaut in July 1991. Initially assigned to Orbiter engineering support, Collins has also served on the astronaut support team responsible for Orbiter prelaunch checkout, final launch configuration, crew ingress/egress, landing/recovery, worked in Mission Control as a spacecraft communicator (CAPCOM), served as the Astronaut Office Spacecraft Systems Branch Chief, Chief Information Officer, Shuttle Branch Chief, and Astronaut Safety Branch Chief. Collins served as pilot on STS-63 (February 3-11, 1995) and STS-84 (May 15-24, 1997), and was the commander on STS-93 (July 22-27, 1999) and STS-114 (July 26 to August 9, 2005). A veteran of four space flights, Collins has logged over 872 hours in space. Collins retired from NASA in May 2006.

What Inspired You to become an Astronaut?

"I remember reading a 'Junior Scholastic' magazine article in 4th grade.  The article discussed the pros and cons of space spending during the Gemini program.  As a young child, I could not understand why anyone could advocate con!!!!  I was 100 percent for the space program!!!  I was very excited to read about the astronauts as well as the scientific benefit of exploring!  This is my earliest memory of my love of space, it only grew from there!"

 


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