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Michael Collins: Pilot of legendary Apollo 11 mission dies at 90

The American astronaut Michael Collins - the pilot of the steering vehicle of the legendary mission Apollo 11Of first manned that arrived on the Moon in 1969 - died on April 28 from cancer, at the age of 90, according to a statement from his family.

Collins was the third member of the mission crew who made the history, first trip to the Moon. It has been characterized as "Forgotten astronaut", because he never set foot on the ground of the Moon, but remained in orbit in spacecraft, while his two colleagues - Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin - they wrote history, walking on the Moon. Thus, he did not gain the same worldwide recognition as the other two astronauts.

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Michael Collins - Apollo 11
Michael Collins: Pilot of legendary Apollo 11 mission dies at 90

However, was hailed as a lifelong representative of space exploration: intelligent, witty but also confident, while in a interviewed in 2009 with NASA reported that its histories accomplishments it was "90% luck" and that astronauts should not be praised as heroes.

The Collins's family tweeted from the astronaut's official account, saying the following: "Mike always faced the challenges of life with grace and humility, in the same way he faced this ultimate challenge." In addition, in her announcement, his family hopes that people will remember him "For his ageless spirit, steady sense of duty and the wise look he acquired while traveling around the Earth from space and observing the calm waters while fishing on his boat".

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The President of the United States, Joe Biden, said the following: "While Collins may not have had equal glory, he was an equal partner, reminding our nation of the importance of working together to serve and achieve great goals."

Michael Collins «Apollo 11»
Michael Collins: Pilot of legendary Apollo 11 mission dies at 90

But let's look in more detail at some things about the life of Michael Collins
Michael Collins was an astronaut and test pilot. He was born at October 31 1930 in Rome while πατέρας was his lieutenant general James Lawton Collins (1882-1963), who served in US Army for 38 years.

Michael Collins traveled twice in space, The first once with the spaceship Gemini 10 and second as a pilot of the mission control vehicle Apollo 11 (July 20, 1969). While Collins remained in orbit around the Moon, Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin landed on the moon and became the first people to walk on the Moon. Even without ever stepping on its surface, Collins remains one of only 24 people in human history to have traveled to the Moon. There was also the 4th man in history (the third American) to take a "space walk" (off-board activity, EVA) and the first to take more than one.

Apollo 11
Michael Collins, Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin - "Apollo 11" mission

Although he was the only member of the mission Apollo 11 who did not step on the Moon, always said that he did not feel any bitterness. He even claimed that it was "Very happy to be left alone" in space for 32 hours and humorously commented that "He was one of the few Americans who did not watch the moon, as he did not have a television in the spacecraft".

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Following the example of Armstrong and Aldrin, Collins left NASA (1970) very quickly after their triumphant return to Earth. He was appointed Deputy Foreign Minister, in charge of public relations, by the then US President, Richard Nixon, and then took over in charge of the construction of the Washington Aviation Museum, of which he eventually became president (1971-1978).

He also wrote many books about his space adventures.

"My dear Mike, wherever you go, wherever you go, you will always have the flame to skillfully transport us to new heavens and into the future. We will miss you. Rest in Peace", was his farewell message Buzz Aldrin, the last of the historical trinity still alive.

Η NASA for her part stated the following: "Today the nation has lost a true pioneer. Some called him "the loneliest man" in history. While his colleagues were walking on the Moon for the first time, he was helping our nation achieve a critical milestone. "

Every accomplishment starts with the decision to try.