Michael Collins, a former NASA astronaut who flew on the Gemini 10 and Apollo 11 missions passed away on April 28, 2021.
As soon as we heard the name Apollo 11, we all remember the moon landing and come up with two astronauts’ names. They are Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin. But there is another hero which we don’t pay attention to but have done a massive sacrifice during the mission. That is Michael Collins.
Some people called him the “Loneliest man in history”. Let’s find more details about Micheal.
Michael was born on October 31, 1930, in Rome. He was graduated from Saint Albans School in Washington, D.C. and later he has graduated from the U.S. Military Academy also. He joined Air Force as a pilot. He was a fighter pilot. In 1963 he was selected as a NASA Astronaut and got selected to the project Gemini 10. It was a 3-day mission and Michael was a pilot of the mission.
Then he was appointed in one of the greatest missions of NASA. The Apollo 11 project. He was a member of the 3 astronauts selected.
But why people don’t remember him?
Why is his name not coming up? The reason is he is the person who has done a massive job behind the stage. While Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin descended on the moon’s surface, Michael remained in the lunar orbit. Making sure the crewmates are doing okay and the ship is fine.
It was historical when humans touched another planetary body away from the Earth. Everybody focused on the two persons that walking on the moon while Michael orbiting 65 miles above them. After the crew safely returned to the Earth, also he was the least cared member of the group which got people’s attention.
After retiring from NASA he joined the government sector. Worked as a major general in the Air force, became the assistant secretary of state for public affairs and also worked as a director of the National Air and Space Museum. He is also an author. He wrote several books, “Carrying the Fire”, “Flying to the Moon and Other Strange Places” two of them. He was awarded honorary degrees from six universities and also awarded Presidential Medal for Freedom.
Featured photo by NASA