His family said in a statement that Michael Collins, an American astronaut on the Apollo 11 mission, the first manned mission to the moon, died Wednesday of cancer at the age of 90.
As a command and service pilot, he remained in orbit while his mission colleagues Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin became the first men to walk on the moon.
“Dear Mike, wherever you are or will be, you will always have the torch to subtly transport us to a new sky and into the future. You will miss us. May you rest in peace,” welcomed Comrade Buzz Aldrin, the last surviving member of Apollo 11. Although His old age, Michael Collins has been in recent years the most active veteran of Apollo, and the most poetic when “Memories of the Moon.” He narrated in 2019 in Washington: “When we left and we saw it, what a majestic field.”
“The sun was behind it, so it was lit up with a golden circle that made the craters really strange, because of the contrast between whiter white and black.” He continued, “Although it is wonderful and impressive, it is not comparable to what we saw through the other window.” “There was that pea the size of a thumb at the end of your arm, a lovely little thing cradled in the black velvet of the rest of the universe.”
“The most lonely man in history”
“I told the Control Center,“ Houston, I see the world in my window. ”NASA responded in a statement:“ Today the nation has lost a true pioneer and lifelong advocate of exploration in the person of Michael Collins. ”And the US Space Agency asserts that“ some have described him as “the most lonely man.” In History – “While his colleagues were walking on the moon for the first time, he was helping our nation reach a critical milestone.”
Michael Collins was born on October 31, 1930 in Rome to a diplomatic father, trained at West Point Military Academy and became a fighter pilot and then a test pilot for the United States Air Force. In 1963, he joined NASA, two years after President John F Kennedy challenged President John F Kennedy to see an American walking on the moon before the end of the decade. He made several spacewalks, notably in Gemini 10 controls in 1966, and was selected to participate in the first manned mission to the Moon. Collins, the only Apollo 11 crew member who has not walked on to Earth’s satellite, says he has not retained any bitterness.
“There is no TV on board.”
He even captures later “that he was so happy to be alone” for 32 hours, asserting that he was not without humor “he was one of the rare Americans who did not follow the moon landings because there was no TV. On the plane.” Like Aldrin and Armstrong, Collins quickly left NASA after his triumphant return to Earth and pursued a wealthy public career.
President Richard Nixon appointed him as Assistant Secretary of State for Public Affairs, then directed the construction of the Washington Aviation Museum, and assumed the presidency (1971-1978). Then he became a consultant and authored books related to space adventure. In their statement, the astronaut’s family would like to remember his “quick wit, calm sense of duty, and the wise gaze he gained by looking at Earth from space, observing the calm waters … from his fishing boat.”