1930 - 2021
The world lost a true hero yesterday when retired NASA astronaut Michael Collins passed away. He was 90 years old.
Mr. Collins was part of the three man Apollo 11 crew, with Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin, on the mission that landed the first men on the moon. When Mr. Armstrong and Mr. Aldrin took Lunar Module Eagle to the surface of the moon, Mr. Collins stayed onboard Columbia to maintain operations in lunar orbit. During that time, he orbited the moon a total of 30 times, and for each of the periods in which he was on the dark side of the moon, Mr. Collins was out of radio contact with his crewmates and with mission control back on Earth. As it was stated in the mission log: "Not since Adam has any human known such solitude as Mike Collins."
If you think of it, take a moment tonight to go outside and look up at the night sky and remember a man who had the courage to step into the unknown and to help mankind achieve a goal that was so remarkable that the mere possibility of it happening was thought to be a fantasy. Remember a man who piloted a spacecraft in complete isolation so that his crew could return safely to the Earth, and who maintained a quiet sense of purpose, avoiding the spotlight without ever avoiding the challenge. Remember Mr. Michael Collins.