Michael Collins was one of three astronauts who participated in Apollo 11, the first manned landing on the moon’s surface on July 20, 1969.
Unlike Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin, Pilot Collins remained in command module during the landing, earning him the nickname “Forgotten Astronaut”.
“I know I would be a liar or a fool if I said I played the best role during Apollo 11,” Collins said in a statement to NASA 2009, “but I can honestly and calmly say that I am completely happy with the role I have.” .
For more than 21 hours Collins was alone in the spacecraft while Armstrong and Aldrin became the first human to orbit the moon’s surface.
“No one has felt lonely since Adam like Mike Collins,” NASA wrote in its log from the mission.
Apollo 11 was Collins Last space flight. Later that year, he was appointed Assistant Secretary of State for Public Affairs. Two years later, he became the first director of the National Air and Space Museum in Washington.
He has also written several books, including on the moon landings and the US Space Program.
Michael Collins turns 90 years old. His family announced that he had died of cancer.