Apollo 11 NASA Astronaut Michael Collins Passes Away at Age 90

By  //  April 28, 2021

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Part of the Gemini program and Apollo program

Former NASA astronaut Michael Collins passed away on April 28, 2021. (NASA Image)

BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA – Former NASA astronaut Michael Collins passed away on April 28, 2021.

NASA released the following statement upon learning of Collins’ death.

“Today the nation lost a true pioneer and lifelong advocate for exploration in astronaut Michael Collins. As pilot of the Apollo 11 command module – some called him ‘the loneliest man in history’ – while his colleagues walked on the Moon for the first time, he helped our nation achieve a defining milestone. He also distinguished himself in the Gemini Program and as an Air Force pilot.

“Michael remained a tireless promoter of space. ‘Exploration is not a choice, really, it’s an imperative,’ he said. Intensely thoughtful about his experience in orbit, he added, ‘What would be worth recording is what kind of civilization we Earthlings created and whether or not we ventured out into other parts of the galaxy.’ ”

After retiring from NASA in 1970, Collins took a job in the Department of State as Assistant Secretary of State for Public Affairs.

A year later, he became the director of the National Air and Space Museum, and held this position until 1978, when he stepped down to become undersecretary of the Smithsonian Institution. In 1980, he took a job as vice president of LTV Aerospace. He resigned in 1985 to start his own consulting firm.

Along with his Apollo 11 crewmates, Collins was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1969 and the Congressional Gold Medal in 2011

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