Two Historic Female Space Commanders


NASA's 2 Female Space Shuttle Commanders

Though dozens of women have flown on the space shuttle during the course of its 30-year career, only two have commanded the spaceship.

Those two are NASA astronauts Eileen Collins, who led the STS-93 flight of the shuttle Columbia in July 1999, and Pamela Melroy, who commanded the STS-120 mission of Discovery in November 2007.

Because becoming a shuttle commander requires previous spaceflight experience, as well as at least 1,000 hours experience piloting a jet aircraft, fewer women have achieved this position than those that have flown as mission specialists.


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