Apollo 11 astronaut Michael Collins dies at 90
Published: 11:06 PM, 28 April 2021
American astronaut Michael Collins
American astronaut Michael Collins, who flew the Apollo 11 command module while his crewmates became the first people to land on the Moon in 1969, died on Wednesday after battling cancer, his family said.
“Mike always faced the challenges of life with grace and humility, and faced this, his final challenge, in the same way,” Collins’ family tweeted on his official Twitter account.
Often described as the "forgotten" third astronaut on the historic mission, Collins remained alone for more than 21 hours until his two colleagues returned in the lunar module. He lost contact with mission control in Houston each time the spacecraft circled the dark side of the moon.
"Not since Adam has any human known such solitude as Mike Collins," the mission log said, referring to the biblical figure.
Collins wrote an account of his experiences in his 1974 autobiography, "Carrying the Fire," but largely shunned publicity.
"I know that I would be a liar or a fool if I said that I have the best of the three Apollo 11 seats, but I can say with truth and equanimity that I am perfectly satisfied with the one I have," Collins said in comments released by NASA in 2009.