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Through the Glass Ceiling to the Stars: The Story of the First American Woman to Command a Space Mission

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The long-awaited memoir of a trailblazer and role model who is telling her story for the first time. Eileen Collins was an aviation pioneer her entire career, from her crowning achievements as the first woman to command an American space mission as well as the first to pilot the space shuttle to her early years as one of the Air Force’s first female pilots. She was in the f The long-awaited memoir of a trailblazer and role model who is telling her story for the first time. Eileen Collins was an aviation pioneer her entire career, from her crowning achievements as the first woman to command an American space mission as well as the first to pilot the space shuttle to her early years as one of the Air Force’s first female pilots. She was in the first class of women to earn pilot’s wings at Vance Air Force Base and was their first female instructor pilot. She was only the second woman admitted to the Air Force’s elite Test Pilot Program at Edwards Air Force Base. NASA had such confidence in her skills as a leader and pilot that she was entrusted to command the first shuttle mission after the Columbia disaster, returning the US to spaceflight after a two-year hiatus. Since retiring from the Air Force and NASA, she has served on numerous corporate boards and is an inspirational speaker about space exploration and leadership. Eileen Collins is among the most recognized and admired women in the world, yet this is the first time she has told her story in a book. It is a story not only of achievement and overcoming obstacles but of profound personal transformation. The shy, quiet child of an alcoholic father and struggling single mother, who grew up in modest circumstances and was an unremarkable student, she had few prospects when she graduated from high school, but she changed her life to pursue her secret dream of becoming an astronaut. She shares her leadership and life lessons throughout the book with the aim of inspiring and passing on her legacy to a new generation.


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The long-awaited memoir of a trailblazer and role model who is telling her story for the first time. Eileen Collins was an aviation pioneer her entire career, from her crowning achievements as the first woman to command an American space mission as well as the first to pilot the space shuttle to her early years as one of the Air Force’s first female pilots. She was in the f The long-awaited memoir of a trailblazer and role model who is telling her story for the first time. Eileen Collins was an aviation pioneer her entire career, from her crowning achievements as the first woman to command an American space mission as well as the first to pilot the space shuttle to her early years as one of the Air Force’s first female pilots. She was in the first class of women to earn pilot’s wings at Vance Air Force Base and was their first female instructor pilot. She was only the second woman admitted to the Air Force’s elite Test Pilot Program at Edwards Air Force Base. NASA had such confidence in her skills as a leader and pilot that she was entrusted to command the first shuttle mission after the Columbia disaster, returning the US to spaceflight after a two-year hiatus. Since retiring from the Air Force and NASA, she has served on numerous corporate boards and is an inspirational speaker about space exploration and leadership. Eileen Collins is among the most recognized and admired women in the world, yet this is the first time she has told her story in a book. It is a story not only of achievement and overcoming obstacles but of profound personal transformation. The shy, quiet child of an alcoholic father and struggling single mother, who grew up in modest circumstances and was an unremarkable student, she had few prospects when she graduated from high school, but she changed her life to pursue her secret dream of becoming an astronaut. She shares her leadership and life lessons throughout the book with the aim of inspiring and passing on her legacy to a new generation.

30 review for Through the Glass Ceiling to the Stars: The Story of the First American Woman to Command a Space Mission

  1. 5 out of 5

    Alina

    ***Note: I received a copy curtesy of Netgalley and Skyhorse Publishing in exchange for an honest review. Interesting facts, but a little too many technical details and information about planes for my taste. Also, everything was delivered in a rather disjointed writing&package - I strongly believe this could use more editing, as the author jumps chaotically from idea to idea and is a little too telegraphic. Having said that, I feel the need to mention that the 3 stars rating is only for the bo ***Note: I received a copy curtesy of Netgalley and Skyhorse Publishing in exchange for an honest review. Interesting facts, but a little too many technical details and information about planes for my taste. Also, everything was delivered in a rather disjointed writing&package - I strongly believe this could use more editing, as the author jumps chaotically from idea to idea and is a little too telegraphic. Having said that, I feel the need to mention that the 3 stars rating is only for the book and has nothing to do with Eileen M. Collins's life and accomplishments. I greatly admire how much she worked to achieve her dreams and what she accomplished, and that she is trying to inspire others to dream big.

  2. 5 out of 5

    thewildreaderwithacat

    Through the Glass Ceiling to the Stars is a memoir of the first woman to command the American Space Mission, along with other achievements - Eileen Collins. The story talks about her journey from her young years to achieving her dreams and being an inspiration for Women. Eileen's story is remarkable and interesting, crushing the barriers and paving way for the future generations. The book is a good read, however I did find it to have information on Aircrafts that I could not relate to. I wish ther Through the Glass Ceiling to the Stars is a memoir of the first woman to command the American Space Mission, along with other achievements - Eileen Collins. The story talks about her journey from her young years to achieving her dreams and being an inspiration for Women. Eileen's story is remarkable and interesting, crushing the barriers and paving way for the future generations. The book is a good read, however I did find it to have information on Aircrafts that I could not relate to. I wish there were pictures of the Aircrafts or Eileen in those days to help readers connect. If you like Aircrafts, and are interested in knowing the story of Eileen, then do give Through the Glass Ceiling to the Stars a try. Thanks you Netgalley, publishers - Skyhorse Publishing, Arcade and authors Eileen M. Collins and Jonathan H. Ward for the ARC.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Jena Henry

    Eileen Collins, also known as Col. Eileen M. Collins,USAF (Retired) is the American Dream personified. A true patriot, she shares her story, from small town girl to NASA Space Shuttle Commander. Let’s clarify that. She was was the FIRST woman shuttle pilot and then commander, and she participated in four shuttle missions. The author starts with her early life. She saw herself as a girl with no special talents, who stuttered and was “painfully shy.” She had a humble beginning and she grew up in E Eileen Collins, also known as Col. Eileen M. Collins,USAF (Retired) is the American Dream personified. A true patriot, she shares her story, from small town girl to NASA Space Shuttle Commander. Let’s clarify that. She was was the FIRST woman shuttle pilot and then commander, and she participated in four shuttle missions. The author starts with her early life. She saw herself as a girl with no special talents, who stuttered and was “painfully shy.” She had a humble beginning and she grew up in Elmira, New York. What really astounded me was when Eileen described her high school graduation, where she realized that many other students had been awarded prizes and scholarships and she had not. She decided to focus and become more. She put herself through community college, majoring in math and science and then entered the Air Force ROTC program at Syracuse University. From there, not even the sky was the limit for Ms Collins. She rapidly progressed through the years of pilot training. She achieved her dream of being accepted into the NASA astronaut program. Her nickname was “Mom” and “Mrs. Clever”. She write her book in an honest, open and modest way. This is a factual book, not a personal “tell-all” and she does not disclose much of her personal life. She gives clear descriptions of her career and flights to space and the space station, making the technical info understandable. She is a positive person who didn’t fear or even acknowledge “the glass ceiling”. She just did her best. She is happiest and most connected when she focuses on the mission and helping others. And she is always prepared. This is an inspiring look at an exciting part of American history, written by a true hero. I myself was a shy girl, who crowded around the small black and white tv screen in my classroom to watch the Mercury and Apollo launches. To think another young girl with dreams of space grew up to achieve so much is incredible and wonderful to me. And now, a world of new space attempts is opening up. “Though the Glass Ceiling to the Stars” will show you the start of USA space exploration, and I hope it encourages everyone to persevere and follow their dreams. Great book. Thanks to NetGalley and Skyhorse Publishing for an advance digital review copy. This is my honest review.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Anjali

    This was a fantastic autobiography of a remarkable woman. Collins and Ward have written an account of Collins's life and career that, while no-nonsense, is never dry. There is a chapter devoted to each of Collins's 4 space shuttle missions, as well as a chapter where Collins takes a hard look at the Columbia tragedy and its aftermath. Her work ethic and unceasing ambition were an inspiration to read about. Overall, Collins comes across as a woman of the highest integrity who is well aware of her This was a fantastic autobiography of a remarkable woman. Collins and Ward have written an account of Collins's life and career that, while no-nonsense, is never dry. There is a chapter devoted to each of Collins's 4 space shuttle missions, as well as a chapter where Collins takes a hard look at the Columbia tragedy and its aftermath. Her work ethic and unceasing ambition were an inspiration to read about. Overall, Collins comes across as a woman of the highest integrity who is well aware of her place in history and the responsibilities she carried throughout her career. Thank you to Edelweiss, Arcade Publishing, Eileen M. Collins, and Jonathan H. Ward for the opportunity to read and review this book.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Jim Armor

    Not great literature, but a heartfelt autobiography of Eileen Collins’ early life through her time as NASA Astronaut. She was commissioned only 5-years after me so we basically shared the same AF and space activities but from different roles. I especially enjoyed some of the intersections. For example, I was just starting my astronaut training in 1983 when she flew a mission during the US invasion of Grenada to rescue all the US college students there. Later, I went to the AF TPS at Edwards in 1 Not great literature, but a heartfelt autobiography of Eileen Collins’ early life through her time as NASA Astronaut. She was commissioned only 5-years after me so we basically shared the same AF and space activities but from different roles. I especially enjoyed some of the intersections. For example, I was just starting my astronaut training in 1983 when she flew a mission during the US invasion of Grenada to rescue all the US college students there. Later, I went to the AF TPS at Edwards in 1984. She attended a few years later in 1989, where my brother (John) was one of her flight instructors. (John also was a pilot for Delta Airlines and knew her husband, Pat Youngs.) Many of the people she highlighted in the book as important to her career were also my colleagues who I knew and respected, especially the NASA Flight Director Wayne Hale (we attended the same Aspen Executive course and have stayed in touch since), and NASA astronauts Charlie Precourt and Kent Rominger (who I worked closely with developing the NGC OmegA launch system). There were many other mutual colleagues (e.g., Jeff Ashby, Pam Melroy, Susan Helms, Ron Sega, Mike Griffin, Sean O’Keefe and many others.) I greatly appreciated Collins’ “no agenda” narration of her experiences as an AF pilot and a NASA astronaut, including and especially when she made mistakes or didn’t perform up to her own expectations. Her description of her space sickness on her first flight (age 38), and her exhaustion and pain after her last flight (age 48) were particularly enlightening. The painstakingly detailed engineering & operations she conducted to command the “back-to-flight” mission STS-114 in 2005, more than 2-years after the Colombia disaster and 6-years after her last flight, was the ultimate “gut check” for anyone with any space or flight experience. Any way you look at it, this was an impressive command performance with lives and the future of the entire US space program on the line. It’s clear she loved her family, the AF, the military, the NASA culture, and America - mistakes and all. Here here. A great, humble, no frills autobiography of a real “hand on the stick” American hero.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Stephen

    Eileen Collins was obsessed with flying. Maybe it was an unusual preoccupation for a girl, but her parents – despite their struggles with mental illness and alcoholism – always encouraged her to pursue her own path. Despite a slow start, an unremarkable high school career, Eileen found her drive as she approached the end of her teens....and threw herself onto a path would take her to the US Air Force, and into Earth orbit, an accomplished pilot and well-respected mission commander. Through the G Eileen Collins was obsessed with flying. Maybe it was an unusual preoccupation for a girl, but her parents – despite their struggles with mental illness and alcoholism – always encouraged her to pursue her own path. Despite a slow start, an unremarkable high school career, Eileen found her drive as she approached the end of her teens....and threw herself onto a path would take her to the US Air Force, and into Earth orbit, an accomplished pilot and well-respected mission commander. Through the Glass Ceiling to the Stars is the remarkable biography of a young woman who overcame the challenges of a difficult, mis-spent youth to become a pioneer in aviation, clearing the way for other women who wished to become military pilots...or even astronauts. If anything marks Through the Glass Ceiling, it’s dogged hard work. Throughout, Collins takes on enormous workloads and commits herself to being The Best. In retaliation for wasting her high school years on pipe courses, Collins continually challenged herself every year thereafter. She never settled for less: when she realized that the Air Force held women to lower standards of fitness and physical performance than the men, she requested permission to train with the men – not willing to be anything less than she could be. These were not easy years for a woman to pursue a career in the armed forces, particularly the Air Force: not only did Collins experience campus hostility when she wore her ROTC uniform, but the Air Force had only recently opened pilot training to women, and even then it was scrupulously avoiding pilot assignments that would put women anywhere near a combat zone. That made navigating into NASA particularly challenging, because it required pilots to have fulfilled Test Pilot training, and that program’s requirements weren’t readily fulfilled by the support aircraft Collins was allowed to fly as a woman. But even if was just flying a transport, she’d be the best transport pilit imaginable – studying manuals to know her systems in and out, hanging out with the mechanics to absorb information that most pilots overlooked. As it happened, her time spent flying ‘trucks’ was excellent background for the shuttle program. Getting into NASA when she did was an extraordinarily close thing, between fulling her service obligations to the Air Force and avoiding the age cut-off for the Test Pilot program. Collins’ commitment to excellence and unwavering hard work won her allies, people who realized she had what it took to make go further – she had the right stuff. Collins was often given choice opportunities, like flying in an F-15. After joining NASA, she performed well in her first two missions as a shuttle pilot, and then became the first woman to command a shuttle mission: she was chosen to be the ‘first’ because NASA knew whatever the stress, Collins could handle it. It helped that she had moral support from other pioneers, like Sally Ride – the first American woman in space, and someone who knew the immense pressure Collins was under. Ride reached out to Collins both before her first shuttle mission, and before her first command. Collins also commanded the first Shuttle mission following the Columbia post-mortum: she carried not only her crew’s lives, but the future of the program on her shoulders. Through the Glass Ceiling will rank as one of my favorite astronaut memoirs, though Collins offers more content than just a recap of her missions. Cognizant of her role as a pioneer – being the first woman to fly an F-15, for instance, or command a shuttle – she frequently offers lessons to the reader, and she doesn’t shy away from sharing her mistakes, either. She goes into considerable detail about all the various aspects of her career, which – to any reader fascinated by aviation – makes this a potluck of interesting planes and observations about the challenges of pushing them to the limit. This one is absolutely recommended, especially for parents who want to encourage their teens to go beyond what they think is possible.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Mo Smith

    I received an ARC of this book from NetGalley in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own. 4.5 stars This is a well-written, interesting autobiography of an extraordinary woman. I really enjoyed the more technical descriptions of the space shuttle missions and the Air Force planes. I also found the chapter on the organizational culture at NASA to be incredibly relevant to my own life, and I got a lot out of her thoughts on that topic (since they mostly mirror my own!). I highly recomme I received an ARC of this book from NetGalley in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own. 4.5 stars This is a well-written, interesting autobiography of an extraordinary woman. I really enjoyed the more technical descriptions of the space shuttle missions and the Air Force planes. I also found the chapter on the organizational culture at NASA to be incredibly relevant to my own life, and I got a lot out of her thoughts on that topic (since they mostly mirror my own!). I highly recommend this book, although I will say I think it may be a little too science-y for some people. Thank you to NetGalley and Skyhorse Publishing for the ARC!

  8. 4 out of 5

    Kamie

    Interesting, felt a bit like sci-fi but without the fiction.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Andrea Lackman

    This is the story of Eileen Collins, and the incredible accomplishments and achievements throughout her life. Her story goes from childhood through her career in NASA. During this time she had many accomplishments, including being the first female pilot at NASA as well as first female commander. Honestly, her life really is incredible. Reading this book really gave me an idea of what it takes to become an astronaut. I had no idea of the rigors of being a pilot in the Air Force. She details much This is the story of Eileen Collins, and the incredible accomplishments and achievements throughout her life. Her story goes from childhood through her career in NASA. During this time she had many accomplishments, including being the first female pilot at NASA as well as first female commander. Honestly, her life really is incredible. Reading this book really gave me an idea of what it takes to become an astronaut. I had no idea of the rigors of being a pilot in the Air Force. She details much of her early career; and I was blown away by the skill, technical knowledge, and commitment that is required. Just to make it to the stage she did in the Air Force is exceptional. You learn so much reading the book; but be warned, it made me feel like a low performing couch potato in comparison. She does touch on what it was like being a women several times throughout the book, although she doesn't spend a lot of time on it. I got the feeling that she knew many aspects were unfair, but she had her sights on something and wasn't going to dwell on it. I kind of wish she had explored the topic more rather than with so much brevity. From her book: "I find it crazy that the first woman pilot and commander was me. How in the world did that happen? As a young girl with no special talents, someone who stuttered and was painfully shy, I empowered my aspirations to become real through my decisions and work ethic" I will say, some of the writing seems fairly methodical. It isn't the beautiful writing of James Herriott for example. In the book she talks about writing up reports, and in some way I think the book feels a little like a report on her life. While there are pages and pages talking about an airplane, more personal things or events that seem like they would warrant more introspection and only told in one sentence which feels dropped into the story without warning and then abandoned. While the book is incredible interesting and fact packed, I think it would have benefited from more depth of personal experience. She did have one beautiful description that really stuck with me: "When separated from Earth, you become even more attuned to Earth. Your love for your home planet grows, and you're filled with a desire to take care of this wonderful place. When you look the other direction and see the absolute blackness of space, you realize there are no other planets we could ever hope to reach that are even remotely like ours" Overall, I really enjoyed this book. If you are interested in space, flying, or remarkable people I would highly recommend Thanks to NetGalley for my ARC.

  10. 5 out of 5

    ManOfLaBook.com

    For more reviews and bookish posts please visit: https://www.ManOfLaBook.com or https://www.instagram.com/manoflabook/ Through the Glass Ceiling to the Stars: The Story of the First American Woman to Command a Space Mission by Eileen M. Collins and Jonathan H. Ward is a biography of this pioneer pilot and astronaut. Col. Collins is one of the more famous pioneers in aviation, this is her first book. I heard of Col. Collins previously, and was anxious to read her long awaited memoir. Through the Gl For more reviews and bookish posts please visit: https://www.ManOfLaBook.com or https://www.instagram.com/manoflabook/ Through the Glass Ceiling to the Stars: The Story of the First American Woman to Command a Space Mission by Eileen M. Collins and Jonathan H. Ward is a biography of this pioneer pilot and astronaut. Col. Collins is one of the more famous pioneers in aviation, this is her first book. I heard of Col. Collins previously, and was anxious to read her long awaited memoir. Through the Glass Ceiling to the Stars: The Story of the First American Woman to Command a Space Mission by Eileen M. Collins and Jonathan H. Ward undoubtedly did not disappoint. Without a doubt, Col. Collins lived an amazing life, and still does. She had a career which, undoubtedly, many of us can only dream of, but a pioneer who will be forever in the history books as well. The author tells of her childhood in Elmira, NY, her military career in the US Air Force, being a test pilot, and of course her time in NASA too. I furthermore enjoyed all the little anecdotes which are memorable in anyone’s life. Her time as a pilot, test pilot, as well as astronaut (pilot and commander) are the majority of the book. The author doesn’t dwell on the nuances of her roles, important but not as exciting, in between missions. She makes sure to concentrate on the valuable lessons she has learned, as well as the excellent advice she is qualified to give. The book is certainly easy to read, without much technical jargon, a la First Man. I enjoyed reading further about Col Collins’ journey to become an astronaut. It took time, planning, patience, and resilience. While there are many lessons in this book, this is the one that I think will stick with me. It is obvious that the book is written with leadership lessons in mind. Most likely for Col Collins to reinvent herself as a public speaker on this subject. Altogether, I think that’s fantastic, we need persons like her to reach out to the community to share their experiences and what they learned.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Tyler

    One of my favorite moments from my work on my first book was my phone conversation with the amazing Eileen Collins. Here she has written an outstanding memoir of her life, beginning with her youth in Elmira, New York, through her education, Air Force career, and NASA career in which she flew four Space Shuttle missions (two as a pilot and two as a commander). One of the aspects that I most admire about her is her humility, which she communicates well in this book. She describes herself as an unr One of my favorite moments from my work on my first book was my phone conversation with the amazing Eileen Collins. Here she has written an outstanding memoir of her life, beginning with her youth in Elmira, New York, through her education, Air Force career, and NASA career in which she flew four Space Shuttle missions (two as a pilot and two as a commander). One of the aspects that I most admire about her is her humility, which she communicates well in this book. She describes herself as an unremarkable student who did not have any special athletic or intellectual talents. Her family had very little money. Yet the reading that she did during her early years fired her imagination to fly in airplanes and spacecraft. She does well in this book to describe the process of becoming a competent pilot: committing certain procedures to memory, maintaining situational awareness of everything happening around you at the moment, while also thinking continuously about what will happen next. She also relates the tasks of learning to become a competent pilot to everyday life, for people in all professions. Later in the book, she does well to provide insights into her career that I had not known about; for instance, she describes the quality of her landings on STS-93 and STS-114, the sicknesses she dealt with in Earth orbit, the workload that each of her crews faced, and even the pranks that astronauts played on each other. At the end of the book, I gained an impression of Eileen Collins as a person of great skill, humility, and thoughtfulness who deserved her role as the first pilot and commander of a Space Shuttle mission.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Colleen

    Definitely 5 stars! Inspirational! Don't miss this book! Publication date is Oct 19, 2021. Also consider for best non-fiction/memoir category for 2021. I use Siri and my iphone (via text to speech) to read most books to me. I thought I misheard when I came across "I promised myself not to date anyone during the year of training. I didn't want to be distracted by anything. Period. I would be "married" to my airplane!" What? Married to my airplane? Did I mishear? Nope. Wow. So dedicated! And Eileen Definitely 5 stars! Inspirational! Don't miss this book! Publication date is Oct 19, 2021. Also consider for best non-fiction/memoir category for 2021. I use Siri and my iphone (via text to speech) to read most books to me. I thought I misheard when I came across "I promised myself not to date anyone during the year of training. I didn't want to be distracted by anything. Period. I would be "married" to my airplane!" What? Married to my airplane? Did I mishear? Nope. Wow. So dedicated! And Eileen Collins really did come across as being married to her airplane. Key acronyms and skills are designed to prepare you for the real world so that you can react quickly under pressure. Certain steps apply both to life and life in flight. For example "Maintain aircraft control" steps needed to be learned so that they are/were instinctive. Maintain control of self, keep a level head, calm down others around you. "Analyze the situation and take proper action" meant that you needed to identify the problem as opposed to reacting to symptoms. "Land as soon as conditions permit"; when the situation is under control, get back to a safe and stable place to catch your breath and regroup. Love some of the practical jokes mentioned in the book; and in addition the “no permanent damage” clause. (~34%) So very creative. (How cool is it when you can be "in on" a practical joke that involves Fabio!) The book is nicely balanced with loving life as well is being extremely focused on goals. (Just might want to give yourself some breathing room for flat tires.) I wonder what here children are doing now. Especially since she read instruction manuals to them when they were infants. Eileen Collins put her career first and waited before having children; but once she did have children, it was really important to her to have a balance between work and home. At least that was my impression. I hope that is also what her children (who are probably now adults) remember. This book was really inspirational. The authors father was an alcoholic and she didn't really apply herself in middle school or high school; but then once she realized that her dreams were within her grasp, she figured out a plan to obtain them and went for them "full steam ahead". You go girl! She is about 10 years older than I am and I remember getting an astronaut helmet/boots for Christmas with my brother when we were about 7 or 8 years old. But I don't remember ever really thinking that I had any chance of being an astronaut (especially as a female). I really hope that this book is found in high school libraries and that young women realize that if they apply themselves, the stars are the limit. To Eileen Collins - I'm so sorry for the loss of your friends and colleagues from the Challenger accent of Jan 28, 1986. My heart still goes out to you and the families of these colleagues. Thank you to NetGalley, the author and publisher for an opportunity to read and review this book in exchange for an honest review. In closing by the author. "Remember that you too can go farther, faster and higher, just as I have. The world needs more people - women and men - to break through the glass ceiling. The size of the universe is infinite, so you better get moving!"

  13. 5 out of 5

    Chad Manske

    Not even two months out of publication, this book will be an inspirational best seller and great read for all who complete it. Collins’ story exemplifies the American dream as she breaks numerous barriers along the the way. From a modest upbringing as the daughter of an alcoholic father and struggling single mother, Collins’ story is all the more remarkable because she did nothing in high school, earned a middling associates degree and then found her stride subsequently in AFROTC. She was among Not even two months out of publication, this book will be an inspirational best seller and great read for all who complete it. Collins’ story exemplifies the American dream as she breaks numerous barriers along the the way. From a modest upbringing as the daughter of an alcoholic father and struggling single mother, Collins’ story is all the more remarkable because she did nothing in high school, earned a middling associates degree and then found her stride subsequently in AFROTC. She was among the first women to earn USAF pilot wings, the first to be a T-38 FAIP at Vance, the second to attend test pilot school and the first to pilot a space shuttle mission in 1995. She would go on to fly a total of 4 missions in space, marry and have two children and completing a remarkable USAF/NASA career before a post-military career sitting on numerous boards and giving inspirational talks. Inducted into the Texas Aviation Hall of Fame, and a life member of the Order of Daedalians, Collins will influence generations to come!

  14. 4 out of 5

    Firetruckmama

    I read an online version of this book through NetGalley. This was a very interesting and informative read. The author did an excellent job describing her life regarding space exploration - from desiring to be an astronaut as a child to joining the military to becoming a test pilot and, eventually, becoming an astronaut. She mainly focuses on her space career, which is the scope of the book. She provides enough detail about her different professions that I learned that there's quite a bit more tha I read an online version of this book through NetGalley. This was a very interesting and informative read. The author did an excellent job describing her life regarding space exploration - from desiring to be an astronaut as a child to joining the military to becoming a test pilot and, eventually, becoming an astronaut. She mainly focuses on her space career, which is the scope of the book. She provides enough detail about her different professions that I learned that there's quite a bit more than I thought that goes into becoming a pilot - let alone becoming the pilot of a craft going into space. There are a few interesting "stories" about her military and space career, but nothing gossipy or petty (which was refreshing to read). Ms. Collins's desire was to share her story so that anyone could achieve their dreams. It wasn't an easy - or simple - journey for her, but she persevered, which I believe is a message for everyone. I rate this book a very high 4.5 stars.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Heidi

    Through the Glass Ceiling to the Stars was a fantastic read. Overall, the book is inspiring and motivational. I truly loved how, along with her personal story, Colonel Collins included the tools she used to make her dreams come true. Not only was it her memoir, with incredible stories from her time with the Air Force and NASA, it gave amazing advice for the younger generation of qualities to have to succeed in any and all endeavors they should choose to pursue. For some readers, the book may be Through the Glass Ceiling to the Stars was a fantastic read. Overall, the book is inspiring and motivational. I truly loved how, along with her personal story, Colonel Collins included the tools she used to make her dreams come true. Not only was it her memoir, with incredible stories from her time with the Air Force and NASA, it gave amazing advice for the younger generation of qualities to have to succeed in any and all endeavors they should choose to pursue. For some readers, the book may be very technical, to the point it could be hard to follow, but it is so worth reading, learning, and bare minimum pushing through for the pure gold in the pages. I’m thrilled Colonel Collins is finally publishing her memoir, this was such a fascinating read!

  16. 4 out of 5

    Amanda Anais

    Loved this book! This was a very personal and revealing memoir from a Senior Officer and military icon, a 101 on the experience of being a test pilot and astronaut, and a reflective tome on effective leadership and public service. It had clear, simple writing that frequently and effectively conveyed dense information about flight maneuvers and space shuttle systems to a layperson. It reads quickly - the only thing that slowed me down was that I stopped constantly to share parts of it with everyo Loved this book! This was a very personal and revealing memoir from a Senior Officer and military icon, a 101 on the experience of being a test pilot and astronaut, and a reflective tome on effective leadership and public service. It had clear, simple writing that frequently and effectively conveyed dense information about flight maneuvers and space shuttle systems to a layperson. It reads quickly - the only thing that slowed me down was that I stopped constantly to share parts of it with everyone around me because the thoughts that Col. Collins shared were so insightful and illustrative. Please do read this - it is excellent, and I’d love to talk with you about it!

  17. 5 out of 5

    Stephanie

    This story of the first woman to command a space voyage is an easy and interesting read. Ms. Collins shares in a straightforward manner what was involved in her having the opportunity to command a space voyage. It's an interesting glimpse into an earlier time and younger readers will be surprised how much has changed. The book's intro was so compelling and energetic and I was a bit surprised that the rest felt more like a reporting of the story rather than a heartfelt memoir. Still I was compell This story of the first woman to command a space voyage is an easy and interesting read. Ms. Collins shares in a straightforward manner what was involved in her having the opportunity to command a space voyage. It's an interesting glimpse into an earlier time and younger readers will be surprised how much has changed. The book's intro was so compelling and energetic and I was a bit surprised that the rest felt more like a reporting of the story rather than a heartfelt memoir. Still I was compelled to keep returning to the book and I recommend it to other readers.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Anna

    This story is a wonderful memoir of Eileen Collins and her obsession with flying. Collins holds herself to an exceptionally high standard in every area of her life, from training with the men in the air force to joining the NASA space program as a shuttle pilot. Through the Glass ceiling is a well written and enjoyable memoir of a true pioneer in aviation. Would recommend for older teens and adults interested in space or aviation, or anyone who wants to be inspired to push themselves to the next This story is a wonderful memoir of Eileen Collins and her obsession with flying. Collins holds herself to an exceptionally high standard in every area of her life, from training with the men in the air force to joining the NASA space program as a shuttle pilot. Through the Glass ceiling is a well written and enjoyable memoir of a true pioneer in aviation. Would recommend for older teens and adults interested in space or aviation, or anyone who wants to be inspired to push themselves to the next level.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Danielle

    I loved reading Eileen Collins' story of her life! How she set a goal for herself and followed through by going through all the steps to achieve her goal. She is an inspiration to everyone to show that working hard, putting in your dues, and never giving up, you can achieve your goals. She didn't let any setbacks deter her from reaching her goals, she remained reasonable and determined. Great story of a brilliant woman! I loved reading Eileen Collins' story of her life! How she set a goal for herself and followed through by going through all the steps to achieve her goal. She is an inspiration to everyone to show that working hard, putting in your dues, and never giving up, you can achieve your goals. She didn't let any setbacks deter her from reaching her goals, she remained reasonable and determined. Great story of a brilliant woman!

  20. 4 out of 5

    Cya_all_day_dream_about_books

    I thank @netgalley and @skyhorsepub for providing me with a complementary copy of this amazing ebook. Through the Glass Ceiling describes the life of Eileen, the first female pilot and first female commander of the Space Shuttle. The book, in her own words describes her transformation from a shy girl with modest background and average grades who went on to command a team. This book will be published on 28th October,2021.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Rebecca

    If you are a fan of the space program you need to read this book. It is one I will be reading again but from a different perspective - when I first picked it up, I wanted to read about Eileen Collins. Now I want to reread it and understand more of what made her an incredible leader. I know there were things I missed the first time around. What an incredible book!

  22. 4 out of 5

    Barbara Adde

    Even with a co-author, this reads just like having a conversation with Eileen — her voice comes through loud and clear. Written for young women and men with big dreams, she provides her insights and lessons learned on how to achieve them.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Rachel S

    As a woman in STEM who once dreamed of working for NASA, I loved learning more about Col. Collins' path to becoming the first American woman to command a space mission. Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for access to an early digital copy! As a woman in STEM who once dreamed of working for NASA, I loved learning more about Col. Collins' path to becoming the first American woman to command a space mission. Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for access to an early digital copy!

  24. 5 out of 5

    Charlie

    Through the Glass Ceiling to the Stars: The Story of the First American Woman to Command a Space Mission by Eileen Collins starts slowly but soon becomes a page-turner. Of particular interest to young women who want to follow in Col. Collins' pioneering footsteps. Through the Glass Ceiling to the Stars: The Story of the First American Woman to Command a Space Mission by Eileen Collins starts slowly but soon becomes a page-turner. Of particular interest to young women who want to follow in Col. Collins' pioneering footsteps.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Caitlin Casavecchia

    The topic was fascinating, the author’s life is fascinating. The book was just kind of long and a little too technical at points. But holy crap, space missions are wild!

  26. 4 out of 5

    Rita King

    I didn’t want to put the book down. Growing up in Elmira, I always heard about Eileen and her journey and being able to read her story was amazing! A great read and must read!

  27. 5 out of 5

    Betsy

    Amazing story. Iit was great to hear details of a persons life to achieve dreams. The information about space training andNASA very interesting

  28. 4 out of 5

    Clare O'Beara

    Through the Glass Ceiling to the Stars is one of the better events to come out of enforced lockdowns. When everyone was so busy, people like a recently retired space shuttle commander and US Air Force instructor had no time to write a memoir. Now this immensely readable book brings us inside impoverished family life, college, an Air Force base, then another one, test piloting and pilot instructing, and through a decade of work at NASA before getting into a space shuttle. A decade separates the f Through the Glass Ceiling to the Stars is one of the better events to come out of enforced lockdowns. When everyone was so busy, people like a recently retired space shuttle commander and US Air Force instructor had no time to write a memoir. Now this immensely readable book brings us inside impoverished family life, college, an Air Force base, then another one, test piloting and pilot instructing, and through a decade of work at NASA before getting into a space shuttle. A decade separates the first and last of the author's four space flights. After the shuttles were grounded and decommissioned, many maintenance hazards were revealed. Some had shown up earlier, in routine inspections, and some had not because the ships were not stripped completely between flights. That's a fascinating and of course tragic chapter. Women and young people of all sorts will gain inspiration from the tale of determination, hard work, achievement; and false sense of security turning to life long lessons. Highly recommended. Because of the more rounded nature of telling a woman, wife and mother's tale at the same time, I'm rating this as the best of the space flight and NASA bios I have read. This is an unbiased review. I read an e-ARC from Net Galley and Fresh Fiction.

  29. 5 out of 5

    CatReader

  30. 4 out of 5

    Matt

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