Eileen Collins, the first woman to command a space shuttle mission, is among the eclectic list of people that includes politicians, sports stars, celebrities, and Trump family members slated to address the Republican National Convention. Collins was the pilot for STS-63 Discovery, the first Space shuttle to rendezvous with the Russian space station Mir in 1995. She also piloted STS-84 Atlantis that docked with Mir in 1997. Collins commanded STS-93 Columbia that deployed the Chandra X-Ray Observatory in 1999.

Finally, she commanded STS-114 Discovery in 2005, which delivered supplies to the International Space Station, the first shuttle flight after the Columbia disaster.

In February, Collins testified before Congress by the side of former NASA Administrator Mike Griffin during which she sharply criticized President Barack Obama’s decision to cancel the Constellation deep space exploration program. Collins was particularly upset about the way the decision was made, abruptly and without warning, timed close to the end of the space shuttle program.

She stated, “I believe program cancellation decisions that are made by bureaucracies behind closed doors, without input by the people, are divisive, damaging, cowardly and many times more expensive in the long run.”

Collins’ criticism of President Obama’s space policy has been noted in social media, with many of the president’s supporters excoriating her. Ironically, Collins was such a feminist icon during the 1990s, she came in for some praise by then-first lady Hillary Clinton, who also related her likely bogus story of being rejected as an astronaut when she was a teenager in the 1960s.

Some are speculating that Collins is in line to be Trump’s NASA administrator should he be elected president. The idea of a former astronaut heading the space agency is not without precedence. Richard Truly, appointed by President George H. W. Bush and Charles Bolden, the current administrator, are both former astronauts. Both men were also controversial, Truly for his efforts to undermine the first Bush’s Space Exploration Initiative and Bolden because he has been obliged to defend Obama’s controversial space policy.

Truly was forced to resign from NASA because of his opposition to the SEI.

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