Michael Collins (astronaut)
Overview
 
Michael Collins is a former American
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 astronaut
Astronaut
An astronaut or cosmonaut is a person trained by a human spaceflight program to command, pilot, or serve as a crew member of a spacecraft....

 and test pilot
Test pilot
A test pilot is an aviator who flies new and modified aircraft in specific maneuvers, known as flight test techniques or FTTs, allowing the results to be measured and the design to be evaluated....

. Selected as part of the third group of fourteen astronauts
Astronaut Group 3
Astronaut Group 3 was the third group of astronauts selected by NASA. Their selection was announced in October 1963. Fourteen astronauts made up Group 3. Four died in training accidents before they could fly in space. All of the surviving ten flew in the Apollo program; five also flew Gemini...

 in 1963, he flew in space twice. His first spaceflight was Gemini 10
Gemini 10
-Backup crew:-Mission parameters:*Mass: *Perigee: *Apogee: *Inclination: 28.87°*Period: 88.79 min-Docking:*Docked: July 19, 1966 - 04:15:00 UTC*Undocked: July 20, 1966 - 19:00:00 UTC-Space walk:...

, in which he and command pilot John Young performed two rendezvous with different spacecraft and Collins undertook two EVA
Extra-vehicular activity
Extra-vehicular activity is work done by an astronaut away from the Earth, and outside of a spacecraft. The term most commonly applies to an EVA made outside a craft orbiting Earth , but also applies to an EVA made on the surface of the Moon...

s. His second spaceflight was as the command module
Apollo Command/Service Module
The Command/Service Module was one of two spacecraft, along with the Lunar Module, used for the United States Apollo program which landed astronauts on the Moon. It was built for NASA by North American Aviation...

 pilot for Apollo 11
Apollo 11
In early 1969, Bill Anders accepted a job with the National Space Council effective in August 1969 and announced his retirement as an astronaut. At that point Ken Mattingly was moved from the support crew into parallel training with Anders as backup Command Module Pilot in case Apollo 11 was...

. While he orbited the Moon, Neil Armstrong
Neil Armstrong
Neil Alden Armstrong is an American former astronaut, test pilot, aerospace engineer, university professor, United States Naval Aviator, and the first person to set foot upon the Moon....

 and Buzz Aldrin
Buzz Aldrin
Buzz Aldrin is an American mechanical engineer, retired United States Air Force pilot and astronaut who was the Lunar Module pilot on Apollo 11, the first manned lunar landing in history...

 made the first manned landing on the lunar surface.
Encyclopedia
Michael Collins is a former American
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 astronaut
Astronaut
An astronaut or cosmonaut is a person trained by a human spaceflight program to command, pilot, or serve as a crew member of a spacecraft....

 and test pilot
Test pilot
A test pilot is an aviator who flies new and modified aircraft in specific maneuvers, known as flight test techniques or FTTs, allowing the results to be measured and the design to be evaluated....

. Selected as part of the third group of fourteen astronauts
Astronaut Group 3
Astronaut Group 3 was the third group of astronauts selected by NASA. Their selection was announced in October 1963. Fourteen astronauts made up Group 3. Four died in training accidents before they could fly in space. All of the surviving ten flew in the Apollo program; five also flew Gemini...

 in 1963, he flew in space twice. His first spaceflight was Gemini 10
Gemini 10
-Backup crew:-Mission parameters:*Mass: *Perigee: *Apogee: *Inclination: 28.87°*Period: 88.79 min-Docking:*Docked: July 19, 1966 - 04:15:00 UTC*Undocked: July 20, 1966 - 19:00:00 UTC-Space walk:...

, in which he and command pilot John Young performed two rendezvous with different spacecraft and Collins undertook two EVA
Extra-vehicular activity
Extra-vehicular activity is work done by an astronaut away from the Earth, and outside of a spacecraft. The term most commonly applies to an EVA made outside a craft orbiting Earth , but also applies to an EVA made on the surface of the Moon...

s. His second spaceflight was as the command module
Apollo Command/Service Module
The Command/Service Module was one of two spacecraft, along with the Lunar Module, used for the United States Apollo program which landed astronauts on the Moon. It was built for NASA by North American Aviation...

 pilot for Apollo 11
Apollo 11
In early 1969, Bill Anders accepted a job with the National Space Council effective in August 1969 and announced his retirement as an astronaut. At that point Ken Mattingly was moved from the support crew into parallel training with Anders as backup Command Module Pilot in case Apollo 11 was...

. While he orbited the Moon, Neil Armstrong
Neil Armstrong
Neil Alden Armstrong is an American former astronaut, test pilot, aerospace engineer, university professor, United States Naval Aviator, and the first person to set foot upon the Moon....

 and Buzz Aldrin
Buzz Aldrin
Buzz Aldrin is an American mechanical engineer, retired United States Air Force pilot and astronaut who was the Lunar Module pilot on Apollo 11, the first manned lunar landing in history...

 made the first manned landing on the lunar surface. He is one of only 24 humans to have flown to the Moon.

Prior to becoming an astronaut, he had attended the United States Military Academy
United States Military Academy
The United States Military Academy at West Point is a four-year coeducational federal service academy located at West Point, New York. The academy sits on scenic high ground overlooking the Hudson River, north of New York City...

, and from there he joined the United States Air Force
United States Air Force
The United States Air Force is the aerial warfare service branch of the United States Armed Forces and one of the American uniformed services. Initially part of the United States Army, the USAF was formed as a separate branch of the military on September 18, 1947 under the National Security Act of...

 and flew F-86s at Chambley-Bussieres Air Base
Chambley-Bussieres Air Base
Chambley-Bussières Air Base is a former United States Air Force base in France. It is located in the Meurthe-et-Moselle département of France, about ten miles west of the French city of Metz, and about one mile southwest of Chambley-Bussières, on the south side of the Départemental 901 ...

, France
France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

. He was accepted to the USAF Experimental Flight Test Pilot School
U.S. Air Force Test Pilot School
The U.S. Air Force Test Pilot School is the Air Force's very advanced flight training school that trains experimental test pilots, flight test engineers, and flight test navigators to carry out tests and evaluations of new aerospace weapon systems and also other aircraft of the U.S. Air Force...

 at Edwards Air Force Base
Edwards Air Force Base
Edwards Air Force Base is a United States Air Force base located on the border of Kern County, Los Angeles County, and San Bernardino County, California, in the Antelope Valley. It is southwest of the central business district of North Edwards, California and due east of Rosamond.It is named in...

 in 1960. He unsuccessfully applied for the second astronaut group but was accepted for the third group.

After retiring from NASA in 1970 he took a job in the Department of State as Assistant Secretary of State for Public Affairs
Assistant Secretary of State for Public Affairs
The Assistant Secretary of State for Public Affairs is the head of the Bureau of Public Affairs within the United States Department of State. Typically, the Assistant Secretary of State for Public Affairs is also the official spokesperson of the State Department...

. A year later he became the director of the National Air and Space Museum
National Air and Space Museum
The National Air and Space Museum of the Smithsonian Institution holds the largest collection of historic aircraft and spacecraft in the world. It was established in 1976. Located in Washington, D.C., United States, it is a center for research into the history and science of aviation and...

. He held this position until 1978 when he stepped down to become undersecretary of the Smithsonian Institution
Smithsonian Institution
The Smithsonian Institution is an educational and research institute and associated museum complex, administered and funded by the government of the United States and by funds from its endowment, contributions, and profits from its retail operations, concessions, licensing activities, and magazines...

. In 1980 he took the job as Vice President of LTV Aerospace. He resigned in 1985 to start his own business.

He is married to Patricia, and they have three children: Kate, Ann, and Michael.

Childhood and education

Michael Collins was born in Rome
Rome
Rome is the capital of Italy and the country's largest and most populated city and comune, with over 2.7 million residents in . The city is located in the central-western portion of the Italian Peninsula, on the Tiber River within the Lazio region of Italy.Rome's history spans two and a half...

, Italy
Italy
Italy , officially the Italian Republic languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Italy's official name is as follows:;;;;;;;;), is a unitary parliamentary republic in South-Central Europe. To the north it borders France, Switzerland, Austria and...

 on October 31, 1930, to United States Army
United States Army
The United States Army is the main branch of the United States Armed Forces responsible for land-based military operations. It is the largest and oldest established branch of the U.S. military, and is one of seven U.S. uniformed services...

 Major General
Major General
Major general or major-general is a military rank used in many countries. It is derived from the older rank of sergeant major general. A major general is a high-ranking officer, normally subordinate to the rank of lieutenant general and senior to the ranks of brigadier and brigadier general...

 James Lawton Collins
James Lawton Collins
James Lawton Collins was a Major General of the U.S. Army. He was the father of astronaut and Major General Michael Collins and Brigadier General James Lawton Collins Jr....

, who would serve in the army for 38 years. For the first 17 years of his life, Michael Collins would call Rome
Rome
Rome is the capital of Italy and the country's largest and most populated city and comune, with over 2.7 million residents in . The city is located in the central-western portion of the Italian Peninsula, on the Tiber River within the Lazio region of Italy.Rome's history spans two and a half...

, Oklahoma
Oklahoma
Oklahoma is a state located in the South Central region of the United States of America. With an estimated 3,751,351 residents as of the 2010 census and a land area of 68,667 square miles , Oklahoma is the 28th most populous and 20th-largest state...

, Governors Island
Governors Island
Governors Island is a island in Upper New York Bay, approximately one-half mile from the southern tip of Manhattan Island and separated from Brooklyn by Buttermilk Channel. It is legally part of the borough of Manhattan in New York City...

, Puerto Rico
Puerto Rico
Puerto Rico , officially the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico , is an unincorporated territory of the United States, located in the northeastern Caribbean, east of the Dominican Republic and west of both the United States Virgin Islands and the British Virgin Islands.Puerto Rico comprises an...

 and Alexandria, Virginia
Alexandria, Virginia
Alexandria is an independent city in the Commonwealth of Virginia. As of 2009, the city had a total population of 139,966. Located along the Western bank of the Potomac River, Alexandria is approximately six miles south of downtown Washington, D.C.Like the rest of northern Virginia, as well as...

 home. He took his first ride in a plane in Puerto Rico aboard a Grumman Widgeon
Grumman Widgeon
|-See also:-References:NotesBibliography* Donald, David. The Complete Encyclopedia of World Aircraft. New York: Barnes & Noble Books, 1997. ISBN 0-7607-0592-5....

. His father would often tell of how his own first plane ride had been in 1911 with Frank Lahm
Frank Lahm
Frank Purdy Lahm was an American aviation pioneer, the "nation's first military aviator", and a general officer in the United States Army Air Corps and Army Air Forces....

 in the Philippines
Philippines
The Philippines , officially known as the Republic of the Philippines , is a country in Southeast Asia in the western Pacific Ocean. To its north across the Luzon Strait lies Taiwan. West across the South China Sea sits Vietnam...

.

After the United States entered World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

, the family moved to Washington, D.C.
Washington, D.C.
Washington, D.C., formally the District of Columbia and commonly referred to as Washington, "the District", or simply D.C., is the capital of the United States. On July 16, 1790, the United States Congress approved the creation of a permanent national capital as permitted by the U.S. Constitution....

 where Collins attended St. Albans School
St. Albans School (Washington, D.C.)
St. Albans School is an independent college preparatory school for boys in grades 4–12, located in Washington, D.C. The school is named after Saint Alban, traditionally regarded as the first British martyr. Within the St...

. His mother wanted him to enter into the diplomatic service, but he decided to follow his father, two uncles, brother and cousin into the armed services, and received an appointment to the United States Military Academy
United States Military Academy
The United States Military Academy at West Point is a four-year coeducational federal service academy located at West Point, New York. The academy sits on scenic high ground overlooking the Hudson River, north of New York City...

, which also had the advantage of being free of tuition and other fees. He finished 185th out of 527 cadets in 1952, the same class as Ed White
Edward Higgins White
Edward Higgins White, II was an engineer, United States Air Force officer and NASA astronaut. On June 3, 1965, he became the first American to "walk" in space. White died along with fellow astronauts Gus Grissom and Roger Chaffee during a pre-launch test for the first manned Apollo mission at...

. His decision to join the United States Air Force
United States Air Force
The United States Air Force is the aerial warfare service branch of the United States Armed Forces and one of the American uniformed services. Initially part of the United States Army, the USAF was formed as a separate branch of the military on September 18, 1947 under the National Security Act of...

 for his active service was based on both the wonder of what the next fifty years may bring in aeronautics, and also to avoid accusations of nepotism if he joined the Army where, among other things, his uncle, General J. Lawton Collins
J. Lawton Collins
Joseph "Lightning Joe" Lawton Collins was a General in the United States Army. During World War II, he served in both the Pacific and European Theaters of Operations. His elder brother, James Lawton Collins, was also in the army as a Major General...

, was the Chief of Staff of the United States Army
Chief of Staff of the United States Army
The Chief of Staff of the Army is a statutory office held by a four-star general in the United States Army, and is the most senior uniformed officer assigned to serve in the Department of the Army, and as such is the principal military advisor and a deputy to the Secretary of the Army; and is in...

. The Air Force Academy was only in its initial construction phase, and would not graduate its first class for several years; in the interim, graduates of the Military Academy, Naval Academy
United States Naval Academy
The United States Naval Academy is a four-year coeducational federal service academy located in Annapolis, Maryland, United States...

 (such as fellow astronaut Tom Stafford
Thomas Patten Stafford
Thomas Patten Stafford is a retired American Air Force lieutenant general and former NASA astronaut. He flew aboard two Gemini space flights; and in 1969 was the commander of Apollo 10, the second manned mission to orbit the Moon and the first to fly a lunar module there.In 1975, Stafford was...

) and the Merchant Marine Academy
United States Merchant Marine Academy
The United States Merchant Marine Academy is one of the five United States Service academies...

 were eligible for Air Force commissions.

Military service

After entering the Air Force, Collins completed flight training at Columbus Air Force Base
Columbus Air Force Base
Columbus Air Force Base is a United States Air Force base located approximately north of Columbus, Mississippi.The host unit at Columbus is the 14th Flying Training Wing assigned to the Air Education and Training Command Nineteenth Air Force. The 14 FTW's mission is to provide specialized...

, Mississippi in T-6 Texan
T-6 Texan
The North American Aviation T-6 Texan was a single-engine advanced trainer aircraft used to train pilots of the United States Army Air Forces, United States Navy, Royal Air Force and other air forces of the British Commonwealth during World War II and into the 1950s...

s, then moved to San Marcos Air Force Base
San Marcos Municipal Airport
San Marcos Municipal Airport is a public use airport located in Caldwell County, Texas, United States. It is four nautical miles east of the central business district of San Marcos, a city that is mostly in Hays County. The airport is owned by the City of San Marcos and operated by Texas Aviation...

 and James Connally Air Force Base
James Connally Air Force Base
James Connally Air Force Base was an United States Air Force base located north of Waco, Texas. After its closure in 1968, the airport reopened as TSTC Waco Airport.-History:...

, Texas. He was chosen for advanced day fighter training at Nellis Air Force Base
Nellis Air Force Base
Nellis Air Force Base is a United States Air Force Base, located approximately northeast of Las Vegas, Nevada. It is under the jurisdiction of Air Combat Command .-Overview:...

, Nevada, flying F-86 Sabre
F-86 Sabre
The North American F-86 Sabre was a transonic jet fighter aircraft. Produced by North American Aviation, the Sabre is best known as America's first swept wing fighter which could counter the similarly-winged Soviet MiG-15 in high speed dogfights over the skies of the Korean War...

s. This was followed by an assignment to the 21st Fighter-Bomber Wing at the George Air Force Base, California, where he learned how to deliver nuclear weapons. He transferred with the 21st when it was relocated to Chaumont-Semoutiers Air Base, France
France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

 in June 1954.

During a NATO exercise in the summer of 1956, Collins was forced to eject from an F-86 after a fire started aft of the cockpit. He was safely rescued and returned to Chaumont AB, where a wait of several hours ensued, as the base's flight surgeon had joined search parties looking for Collins.

Collins met Patricia Finnegan, his future wife, in an officers' mess. She was from Boston, Massachusetts, and was working for the Air Force service club. After getting engaged, they had to overcome a difference in religion. Collins was nominally Episcopalian, while Finnegan came from a staunchly Roman Catholic
Roman Catholic Church
The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church, is the world's largest Christian church, with over a billion members. Led by the Pope, it defines its mission as spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ, administering the sacraments and exercising charity...

 family. Collins's father had been raised a Catholic, but converted to Protestantism when he married. The rest of his family remained Catholic. After seeking permission to marry from Finnegan's father, and delaying their wedding when Collins was redeployed to West Germany
West Germany
West Germany is the common English, but not official, name for the Federal Republic of Germany or FRG in the period between its creation in May 1949 to German reunification on 3 October 1990....

 during the 1956 Hungarian Revolution
1956 Hungarian Revolution
The Hungarian Revolution or Uprising of 1956 was a spontaneous nationwide revolt against the government of the People's Republic of Hungary and its Soviet-imposed policies, lasting from 23 October until 10 November 1956....

, they married in the summer of 1957. Daughter Kate Collins, born in 1958, is a successful actress.

After Collins was reassigned back to the United States, he attended an aircraft maintenance officer course at Chanute Air Force Base
Chanute Air Force Base
Chanute Air Force Base is a former United States Air Force base located south of and adjacent to Rantoul, Illinois, about south of Chicago. Its primary mission throughout its existence was Air Force technical training....

, Illinois. He would later describe this school as "dismal" in his autobiography. Upon completing the course, he was posted to a Mobile Training Detachment (MTD) and travelled to Air Force bases, training mechanics on the servicing of new aircraft.

Test Pilot

With the help of his time as a member of an MTD, Collins accumulated over 1500 hours of flying, the minimum required for the USAF Experimental Flight Test Pilot School at Edwards Air Force Base
Edwards Air Force Base
Edwards Air Force Base is a United States Air Force base located on the border of Kern County, Los Angeles County, and San Bernardino County, California, in the Antelope Valley. It is southwest of the central business district of North Edwards, California and due east of Rosamond.It is named in...

, California. He successfully applied and reported on August 29, 1960, becoming a member of Class 60-C (which included future astronauts Frank Borman
Frank Borman
Frank Frederick Borman, II is a retired NASA astronaut and engineer, best remembered as the Commander of Apollo 8, the first mission to fly around the Moon, making him, along with fellow crew mates Jim Lovell and Bill Anders, the first of only 24 humans to do so...

 and Jim Irwin). Following months of intensive training, Collins was one of the few chosen for a position in fighter operations.

Collins used to smoke heavily, but decided to quit in 1962 after suffering a particularly bad hangover. The next day, he spent what he described as the worst four hours of his life in the right-hand seat of a bomber flicking switches while going through the initial stages of nicotine
Nicotine
Nicotine is an alkaloid found in the nightshade family of plants that constitutes approximately 0.6–3.0% of the dry weight of tobacco, with biosynthesis taking place in the roots and accumulation occurring in the leaves...

 withdrawal.

The turning point for Michael Collins in his decision to become an astronaut was the Mercury Atlas 6 flight of John Glenn
John Glenn
John Herschel Glenn, Jr. is a former United States Marine Corps pilot, astronaut, and United States senator who was the first American to orbit the Earth and the third American in space. Glenn was a Marine Corps fighter pilot before joining NASA's Mercury program as a member of NASA's original...

 on February 20, 1962, and the thought of being able to circle the Earth in 90 minutes. He immediately applied for the second group of astronauts that year. To raise their numbers, the Air Force sent their best applicants to a "charm school". Medical and psychiatric examinations at Brooks Air Force Base, Texas and interviews at the Manned Spacecraft Center in Houston followed. In mid-September he found that he had not been accepted, something that was a blow even though he did not really expect to be accepted. Collins still rates the second group of nine as the best group of astronauts ever selected by NASA.

That same year the USAF Experimental Flight Test Pilot School became the USAF Aerospace Research Pilot School, as the Air Force tried to enter into the research of space. Collins applied for a new course offered into the basics of spaceflight (other students included Charles Bassett
Charles Bassett
Charles Arthur "Art" Bassett, II was an American engineer and United States Air Force officer. He was selected as a NASA astronaut in 1963 and assigned to Gemini 9 but died in an airplane crash during training for his first spaceflight.-Early life and education:Bassett was born in Dayton, Ohio,...

, Edward Givens
Edward Givens
Edward Galen "Ed" Givens Jr was an United States Air Force officer and a NASA astronaut. He was selected in 1966 by NASA as a member of the 'Original 19' group....

 and Joe Engle). Along with classwork they also flew up to about 90,000 feet in F-104 Starfighter
F-104 Starfighter
The Lockheed F-104 Starfighter is a single-engine, high-performance, supersonic interceptor aircraft originally developed for the United States Air Force by Lockheed. One of the Century Series of aircraft, it served with the USAF from 1958 until 1969, and continued with Air National Guard units...

s. As they passed through the top of their huge arc, they would experience a brief period of weightlessness. Finishing this course he returned to fighter ops in May 1963.

At the start of June of that year, NASA once again called for astronaut applications. Collins went through the same process as with his first applications, though he did not take the psychiatric evaluation. He was at Randolph Air Force Base
Randolph Air Force Base
Randolph Air Force Base is a United States Air Force base located east-northeast of San Antonio, Texas. The base is under the jurisdiction of the 902d Mission Support Group, Air Education and Training Command ....

, Texas on October 14 when Deke Slayton
Deke Slayton
Donald Kent Slayton , better known as Deke Slayton, was an American World War II pilot and later, one of the original NASA Mercury Seven astronauts....

 called and asked if he was still interested in becoming an astronaut. Charlie Bassett was also accepted in the same group.

Space program

For the third group, training began with a 240-hour course of the basics of spaceflight. Fifty-eight hours of this was devoted to geology, something that Collins did not readily understand and in which he never became very interested. At the end, Alan Shepard
Alan Shepard
Alan Bartlett Shepard, Jr. was an American naval aviator, test pilot, flag officer, and NASA astronaut who in 1961 became the second person, and the first American, in space. This Mercury flight was designed to enter space, but not to achieve orbit...

, who was head of the astronaut office, asked the fourteen to rank their fellow astronauts in the order they would want to fly with them in space. Collins picked David Scott
David Scott
David Randolph Scott is an American engineer, test pilot, retired U.S. Air Force officer, and former NASA astronaut and engineer, who was one of the third group of astronauts selected by NASA in October 1963...

 in the number one position.

After this basic training, the third group were assigned specializations, with Collins receiving his first choice of pressure suits and EVA. His job was to monitor the development and act as something of a go-between for the astronaut office and the contractors. As such he was annoyed when during the secretive planning of Ed White's EVA on Gemini 4
Gemini 4
Gemini 4 was the second manned space flight in NASA's Project Gemini, occurring in June 1965. It was the tenth manned American spaceflight . Astronauts James McDivitt and Edward H. White, II circled the Earth 66 times in four days, making it the first US flight to approach the five-day flight of...

, he was not involved.

In late June 1965, Collins received his first crew assignment, the backup pilot for Gemini 7
Gemini 7
Gemini 7 was a 1965 manned spaceflight in NASA's Gemini program. It was the 4th manned Gemini flight, the 12th manned American flight and the 20th spaceflight of all time . The crew of Frank F. Borman, II and James A...

. He was the first of the fourteen to receive a crew assignment, though would not be the first to fly; that honor went to David Scott on Gemini 8
Gemini 8
-Backup crew:-Mission parameters:* Mass: * Perigee: * Apogee: * Inclination: 28.91°* Period: 88.83 min-Objectives:Gemini VIII had two major objectives, of which it achieved one...

. Collins never rated himself with the super athletes of the astronaut corps, like his fellow backup crew member Ed White
Edward Higgins White
Edward Higgins White, II was an engineer, United States Air Force officer and NASA astronaut. On June 3, 1965, he became the first American to "walk" in space. White died along with fellow astronauts Gus Grissom and Roger Chaffee during a pre-launch test for the first manned Apollo mission at...

, but he still tried to keep in shape, especially in the run up to Gemini 7, when he could have been called upon to spend 14 days in space.

Gemini 10

After the successful completion of 7, Collins was assigned to the prime crew of Gemini 10
Gemini 10
-Backup crew:-Mission parameters:*Mass: *Perigee: *Apogee: *Inclination: 28.87°*Period: 88.79 min-Docking:*Docked: July 19, 1966 - 04:15:00 UTC*Undocked: July 20, 1966 - 19:00:00 UTC-Space walk:...

with John Young, with White moving onto Project Apollo
Project Apollo
The Apollo program was the spaceflight effort carried out by the United States' National Aeronautics and Space Administration , that landed the first humans on Earth's Moon. Conceived during the Presidency of Dwight D. Eisenhower, Apollo began in earnest after President John F...

. Their three-day mission called for them to rendezvous with two different Agena Target Vehicle
Agena Target Vehicle
The Agena Target Vehicle was an unmanned spacecraft used by NASA during its Gemini program to develop and practice orbital space rendezvous and docking techniques and to perform large orbital changes, in preparation for the Apollo program lunar missions.-Operations:Each ATV consisted of an Agena-D...

s, undertake two EVAs, and perform fifteen different experiments. The training went smoothly, as the crew learned the intricacies of orbital rendezvous, controlling the Agena and, for Collins, EVA. For what was to be only the fourth ever EVA, underwater training was not undertaken, mostly because Collins just did not have the time. To train to use the nitrogen gun he would use for propulsion, a super smooth metal surface about the size of a boxing ring was set up. He would stand on a circular pad that used gas jets to raise itself off the surface. Using the nitrogen gun he would practise propelling himself across the "slippery table". For the three day flight, Collins received $24.00 in travel reimbursement.

For his first EVA Collins did not leave the Gemini capsule, but stood up through the hatch with a device that resembled a sextant. In his biography he said he felt at that moment like a Roman god riding the skies in his chariot.

Apollo

Shortly after Gemini 10, Collins was assigned to the backup crew for the second manned Apollo flight, with commander Frank Borman
Frank Borman
Frank Frederick Borman, II is a retired NASA astronaut and engineer, best remembered as the Commander of Apollo 8, the first mission to fly around the Moon, making him, along with fellow crew mates Jim Lovell and Bill Anders, the first of only 24 humans to do so...

, command module pilot (CMP) Thomas Stafford
Thomas Patten Stafford
Thomas Patten Stafford is a retired American Air Force lieutenant general and former NASA astronaut. He flew aboard two Gemini space flights; and in 1969 was the commander of Apollo 10, the second manned mission to orbit the Moon and the first to fly a lunar module there.In 1975, Stafford was...

 and Collins as lunar module pilot (LMP). Along with learning the new Apollo Command/Service Module
Apollo Command/Service Module
The Command/Service Module was one of two spacecraft, along with the Lunar Module, used for the United States Apollo program which landed astronauts on the Moon. It was built for NASA by North American Aviation...

 (CSM) and the Apollo Lunar Module
Apollo Lunar Module
The Apollo Lunar Module was the lander portion of the Apollo spacecraft built for the US Apollo program by Grumman to carry a crew of two from lunar orbit to the surface and back...

 (LM), Collins received helicopter training, as these were thought to be the best way to simulate the landing approach of the LM. After the completion of Project Gemini
Project Gemini
Project Gemini was the second human spaceflight program of NASA, the civilian space agency of the United States government. Project Gemini was conducted between projects Mercury and Apollo, with ten manned flights occurring in 1965 and 1966....

, it was decided to cancel the Apollo 2 flight, since it would just repeat the Apollo 1 flight. In the process of crews being reassigned, Collins was moved to the CMP position, since his new crew was Borman, Collins and William Anders
William Anders
William Alison Anders is a former United States Air Force officer, NASA astronaut, businessman, and engineer. He is, along with Apollo 8 crewmates Frank Borman and Jim Lovell, one of the first three persons to have left Earth orbit and traveled to the Moon .-Biography:Anders was born to Arthur...

. Deke Slayton
Deke Slayton
Donald Kent Slayton , better known as Deke Slayton, was an American World War II pilot and later, one of the original NASA Mercury Seven astronauts....

 had decided that the CMP should have some spaceflight experience, something that Anders did not have. Three years later, this change would be the reason Michael Collins orbited the Moon while Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin walked on its surface.

Staff meetings were always held on Fridays in the astronaut office and it was here that Collins found himself on January 27, 1967. Don Gregory was running the meeting in the absence of Alan Shepard
Alan Shepard
Alan Bartlett Shepard, Jr. was an American naval aviator, test pilot, flag officer, and NASA astronaut who in 1961 became the second person, and the first American, in space. This Mercury flight was designed to enter space, but not to achieve orbit...

 and so it was he who answered the red phone to be informed that there was a fire in the Apollo 1
Apollo 1
Apollo 1 was scheduled to be the first manned mission of the Apollo manned lunar landing program, with a target launch date of February 21, 1967. A cabin fire during a launch pad test on January 27 at Launch Pad 34 at Cape Canaveral killed all three crew members: Command Pilot Virgil "Gus"...

 CM. When the enormity of the situation was ascertained, it fell on Collins to go the Chaffee household to tell Martha Chaffee that her husband was dead. The astronaut office had learned from the death of Theodore Freeman
Theodore Freeman
Theodore Cordy Freeman was a NASA astronaut and a captain in the United States Air Force. He was killed in the crash of a T-38 jet, marking the first fatality among the American astronaut corps...

 in an aircraft crash, when a newspaper reporter was the first to his house.

Following the delays to training as Frank Borman took part in the fire investigation, the crew of what would become Apollo 8
Apollo 8
Apollo 8, the second manned mission in the American Apollo space program, was the first human spaceflight to leave Earth orbit; the first to be captured by and escape from the gravitational field of another celestial body; and the first crewed voyage to return to Earth from another celestial...

started back. It would be the first manned flight of the Saturn V
Saturn V
The Saturn V was an American human-rated expendable rocket used by NASA's Apollo and Skylab programs from 1967 until 1973. A multistage liquid-fueled launch vehicle, NASA launched 13 Saturn Vs from the Kennedy Space Center, Florida with no loss of crew or payload...

 and only its third launch. They would use the S-IVB
S-IVB
The S-IVB was built by the Douglas Aircraft Company and served as the third stage on the Saturn V and second stage on the Saturn IB. It had one J-2 engine...

 third stage to boost them into a highly elliptical Earth orbit with a high point of 4000 miles.

During all this Collins and David Scott were sent by NASA to the Paris Air Show
Paris Air Show
The Paris Air Show is the world's oldest and largest air show. Established in 1909, it is currently held every odd year at Le Bourget Airport in north Paris, France...

 in May 1967. There they met cosmonauts Pavel Belyayev
Pavel Belyayev
Pavel Ivanovich Belyayev , , was a Soviet fighter pilot with extensive experience in piloting different types of aircraft...

 and Konstantin Feoktistov
Konstantin Feoktistov
Konstantin Petrovich Feoktistov was a Soviet cosmonaut and an eminent space engineer. Feoktistov also wrote several books on space technology and exploration...

, with whom they drank vodka on the Soviet's Tupolev Tu-134
Tupolev Tu-134
The Tupolev Tu-134 is a twin-engined airliner, similar to the American Douglas DC-9 and the French Sud Aviation Caravelle, and built in the Soviet Union from 1966–1984. The original version featured a glazed-nose design and, like certain other Russian airliners , it can operate from unpaved...

. Collins found it interesting that some cosmonauts were doing helicopter training like their American compatriots and Belyayev said that he hoped to make a circum-lunar flight soon. The astronauts' wives had accompanied them on the trip and Collins and his wife Pat were somewhat forced by NASA and their friends to travel to Metz
Metz
Metz is a city in the northeast of France located at the confluence of the Moselle and the Seille rivers.Metz is the capital of the Lorraine region and prefecture of the Moselle department. Located near the tripoint along the junction of France, Germany, and Luxembourg, Metz forms a central place...

 where they had been married ten years before. There they found a third wedding ceremony had been arranged (ten years previously they had already had civil and religious ceremonies).

Medical problems

During 1968, Collins noticed that his legs were not working as they should, first during handball
American handball
American handball is a sport in which players hit a small rubber ball against a wall using their hands.- History :...

 games, then as he walked down stairs, his knee would almost give way. His left leg also had unusual sensations when in hot and cold water. Reluctantly he sought medical advice and the diagnosis was a cervical
Intervertebral disc
Intervertebral discs lie between adjacent vertebrae in the spine. Each disc forms a cartilaginous joint to allow slight movement of the vertebrae, and acts as a ligament to hold the vertebrae together.-Structure:...

 disc herniation
Spinal disc herniation
A spinal disc herniation , informally and misleadingly called a "slipped disc", is a medical condition affecting the spine due to trauma, lifting injuries, or idiopathic, in which a tear in the outer, fibrous ring of an intervertebral disc allows the soft, central portion A spinal disc herniation...

, requiring two vertebrae to be fused together
Spinal fusion
Spinal fusion, also known as spondylodesis or spondylosyndesis, is a surgical technique used to join two or more vertebrae. Supplementary bone tissue, either from the patient or a donor , is used in conjunction with the body's natural bone growth processes to fuse the vertebrae.Fusing of the...

. The surgery was performed at the USAF Wilford Hall Hospital
Wilford Hall Hospital
Wilford Hall Ambulatory Surgical Center, formally know as Wilford Hall Medical Center, is a United States Air Force clinic located on the grounds of Lackland Air Force Base named for former Air Force physician, Major General Wilford F. Hall...

 at Lackland Air Force Base
Lackland Air Force Base
Lackland Air Force Base is a United States Air Force base located west-southwest of San Antonio, Texas. The base is under the jurisdiction of the 802d Mission Support Group, Air Education and Training Command ....

, Texas and he spent three months in a neck brace. It also removed Collins from the crew of Apollo 9
Apollo 9
Apollo 9, the third manned mission in the American Apollo space program, was the first flight of the Command/Service Module with the Lunar Module...

and moved Jim Lovell
Jim Lovell
James "Jim" Arthur Lovell, Jr., is a former NASA astronaut and a retired captain in the United States Navy, most famous as the commander of the Apollo 13 mission, which suffered a critical failure en route to the Moon but was brought back safely to Earth by the efforts of the crew and mission...

 up to the prime crew. When the Apollo 8
Apollo 8
Apollo 8, the second manned mission in the American Apollo space program, was the first human spaceflight to leave Earth orbit; the first to be captured by and escape from the gravitational field of another celestial body; and the first crewed voyage to return to Earth from another celestial...

mission was changed from a CSM/LM in Earth orbit, to a CSM-only flight around the Moon, both prime and backup crews for the Apollo 8
Apollo 8
Apollo 8, the second manned mission in the American Apollo space program, was the first human spaceflight to leave Earth orbit; the first to be captured by and escape from the gravitational field of another celestial body; and the first crewed voyage to return to Earth from another celestial...

and Apollo 9
Apollo 9
Apollo 9, the third manned mission in the American Apollo space program, was the first flight of the Command/Service Module with the Lunar Module...

swapped places.

Apollo 8

Having trained for the flight, Collins was made a CapCom, one of the only people who usually spoke to the crew during a mission. As part of the Mission Control's Green Team, he was responsible for the launch phase up to trans-lunar injection, the rocket burn that sent them to the Moon. The successful completion of the first manned circum-lunar flight was followed by the announcement of the Apollo 11 crew of Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins. At the time in January 1969, it was not certain this would be the lunar landing crew with Apollos 9
Apollo 9
Apollo 9, the third manned mission in the American Apollo space program, was the first flight of the Command/Service Module with the Lunar Module...

and 10
Apollo 10
Apollo 10 was the fourth manned mission in the American Apollo space program. It was an F type mission—its purpose was to be a "dry run" for the Apollo 11 mission, testing all of the procedures and components of a Moon landing without actually landing on the Moon itself. The mission included the...

still needing to be flown successfully.

Apollo 11

As CMP, Collins's training was completely different than that for the LM and lunar EVA and was sometimes done without Armstrong or Aldrin being present. Along with simulators, there were size measurements for pressure suits, centrifuge training to simulate the 10 g
G-force
The g-force associated with an object is its acceleration relative to free-fall. This acceleration experienced by an object is due to the vector sum of non-gravitational forces acting on an object free to move. The accelerations that are not produced by gravity are termed proper accelerations, and...

 reentry, and practicing docking with a huge rig at NASA Langley Research Center, Hampton, Virginia
Langley Research Center
Langley Research Center is the oldest of NASA's field centers, located in Hampton, Virginia, United States. It directly borders Poquoson, Virginia and Langley Air Force Base...

, just to name a few. Since he would be the active participant in the rendezvous with the LM, Collins compiled a book of 18 different rendezvous schemes for different scenarios including where the LM did not land, or launched too early or too late. This book ran for 117 pages.

The famous mission patch of Apollo 11 was the creation of Collins. Jim Lovell, the backup commander, mentioned the idea of eagles, a symbol of the United States. Collins liked the idea and found a photo in a National Geographic magazine, traced it and added the lunar surface below and Earth in the background. The idea of an olive branch, a symbol of peace, came from a computer expert at the simulators. The call sign Columbia for the CSM came from Julian Scheer, the NASA Assistant Administrator for Public Affairs. He mentioned the idea to Collins in a conversation and Collins could not think of anything better.
It was during the training for Apollo 11 that Collins told Deke Slayton that he did not want to fly again. Slayton offered to get him back into the crew sequence after the flight, and according to Collins, this would probably have been as backup commander of Apollo 14
Apollo 14
Apollo 14 was the eighth manned mission in the American Apollo program, and the third to land on the Moon. It was the last of the "H missions", targeted landings with two-day stays on the Moon with two lunar EVAs, or moonwalks....

followed by commander of Apollo 17
Apollo 17
Apollo 17 was the eleventh and final manned mission in the American Apollo space program. Launched at 12:33 a.m. EST on December 7, 1972, with a three-member crew consisting of Commander Eugene Cernan, Command Module Pilot Ronald Evans, and Lunar Module Pilot Harrison Schmitt, Apollo 17 remains the...

.
During his day of solo flying around the Moon, Collins never felt lonely. Although it has been said that "not since Adam has any human known such solitude", Collins felt very much a part of the mission. In his autobiography he wrote that "this venture has been structured for three men, and I consider my third to be as necessary as either of the other two". During the 48 minutes of each orbit that he was out of radio contact with Earth, the feeling he reported was not loneliness, but rather "awareness, anticipation, satisfaction, confidence, almost exultation".

After spending so much time with the CSM, Collins felt compelled to leave his mark on it, so during the second night following their return from the Moon, he went to the lower equipment bay of the CM and wrote:
"Spacecraft 107 — alias Apollo 11 — alias Columbia. The best ship to come down the line. God Bless Her. Michael Collins, CMP"


In a July 2009 interview with The Guardian
The Guardian
The Guardian, formerly known as The Manchester Guardian , is a British national daily newspaper in the Berliner format...

, Collins revealed that he was very worried about Armstrong and Aldrin's safety.

Post-NASA activities

After being released from a 21-day quarantine, the crew were feted across the United States and around the world as part of a 45-day "Giant Leap" tour. Prior to this trip NASA administrator Thomas O. Paine
Thomas O. Paine
Thomas Otten Paine , American scientist, was the third Administrator of NASA, serving from March 21, 1969 to September 15, 1970.During his administration at NASA, the first seven Apollo manned missions were flown...

 had approached Collins and said that Secretary of State
United States Secretary of State
The United States Secretary of State is the head of the United States Department of State, concerned with foreign affairs. The Secretary is a member of the Cabinet and the highest-ranking cabinet secretary both in line of succession and order of precedence...

 William P. Rogers
William P. Rogers
William Pierce Rogers was an American politician, who served as a Cabinet officer in the administrations of two U.S. Presidents in the third quarter of the 20th century.-Early Life :...

 was interested in appointing Collins to the position of Assistant Secretary of State for Public Affairs
Assistant Secretary of State for Public Affairs
The Assistant Secretary of State for Public Affairs is the head of the Bureau of Public Affairs within the United States Department of State. Typically, the Assistant Secretary of State for Public Affairs is also the official spokesperson of the State Department...

. It was not until they returned to the U.S. in November that he sat down with Rogers and accepted the position on the urgings of Richard Nixon
Richard Nixon
Richard Milhous Nixon was the 37th President of the United States, serving from 1969 to 1974. The only president to resign the office, Nixon had previously served as a US representative and senator from California and as the 36th Vice President of the United States from 1953 to 1961 under...

. In this position he was in charge of various areas including exhibitions, speeches and history.

A year later, Collins left this position to become director of the National Air and Space Museum
National Air and Space Museum
The National Air and Space Museum of the Smithsonian Institution holds the largest collection of historic aircraft and spacecraft in the world. It was established in 1976. Located in Washington, D.C., United States, it is a center for research into the history and science of aviation and...

. He held this position until 1978 when he stepped down to become undersecretary of the Smithsonian Institution
Smithsonian Institution
The Smithsonian Institution is an educational and research institute and associated museum complex, administered and funded by the government of the United States and by funds from its endowment, contributions, and profits from its retail operations, concessions, licensing activities, and magazines...

. That same year he retired from the United States Air Force with the rank of Major General
Major General
Major general or major-general is a military rank used in many countries. It is derived from the older rank of sergeant major general. A major general is a high-ranking officer, normally subordinate to the rank of lieutenant general and senior to the ranks of brigadier and brigadier general...

. In 1974 he attended the Harvard Business School
Harvard Business School
Harvard Business School is the graduate business school of Harvard University in Boston, Massachusetts, United States and is widely recognized as one of the top business schools in the world. The school offers the world's largest full-time MBA program, doctoral programs, and many executive...

 and in 1980 he became Vice President of LTV Aerospace
Vought
Vought is the name of several related aerospace firms. These have included, in the past, Lewis and Vought Corporation, Chance Vought, Vought Sikorsky, LTV Aerospace , Vought Aircraft Companies, and the current Vought Aircraft Industries. The first incarnation of Vought was established by Chance M...

 in Arlington, Virginia. He resigned in 1985 to start his own consulting firm, Michael Collins Associates.

Collins wrote an autobiography in 1974 entitled Carrying the Fire: An Astronaut's Journeys
Carrying the Fire: An Astronaut's Journeys
Carrying the Fire: An Astronaut's Journeys is an autobiographical book written by the Gemini 10 and Apollo 11 astronaut, Michael Collins. It was released in 1974 and has a foreword written by Charles A. Lindbergh...

. It is "generally regarded as the best account of what it is like to be an astronaut." He has also written Liftoff: The Story of America's Adventure in Space (1988), a history of the American space program, Mission to Mars (1990), a non-fiction book on human spaceflight to Mars, and Flying to the Moon and Other Strange Places (1976). revised and re-released as Flying to the Moon : An Astronaut's Story (1994), a children's book on his experiences. Along with his writing, he has painted watercolors mostly relating to his Florida Everglades home, or aircraft that he flew; they are rarely space-related. Until recently he did not sign his paintings to avoid them increasing in price just because they had his autograph on them. Collins was a long-time Trustee of the National Geographic Society and presently serves as Trustee Emeritus.

He has been awarded the NASA Distinguished Service Medal
NASA Distinguished Service Medal
The NASA Distinguished Service Medal is the highest award which may be bestowed by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration of the United States...

, Air Force Distinguished Flying Cross
Distinguished Flying Cross (United States)
The Distinguished Flying Cross is a medal awarded to any officer or enlisted member of the United States armed forces who distinguishes himself or herself in support of operations by "heroism or extraordinary achievement while participating in an aerial flight, subsequent to November 11, 1918." The...

, Air Force Command Pilot Astronaut Wings
Astronaut Badge
The Astronaut Badge is a badge of the United States, awarded to military and civilian pilots who have completed training and performed a successful spaceflight...

, Presidential Medal of Freedom
Presidential Medal of Freedom
The Presidential Medal of Freedom is an award bestowed by the President of the United States and is—along with thecomparable Congressional Gold Medal bestowed by an act of U.S. Congress—the highest civilian award in the United States...

, and Congressional Gold Medal. Together with Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin, he received the Collier Trophy
Collier Trophy
The Collier Trophy is an annual aviation award administered by the U.S. National Aeronautics Association , presented to those who have made "the greatest achievement in aeronautics or astronautics in America, with respect to improving the performance, efficiency, and safety of air or space...

 in 1969 and the Hubbard Medal
Hubbard Medal
The Hubbard Medal is awarded by the National Geographic Society for distinction in exploration, discovery, and research. The medal is named for Gardiner Greene Hubbard, first National Geographic Society president.-Recipients:...

 of the National Geographic Society in 1970. The International Astronomical Union
International Astronomical Union
The International Astronomical Union IAU is a collection of professional astronomers, at the Ph.D. level and beyond, active in professional research and education in astronomy...

 honored him by naming an asteroid after him, 6471 Collins
6471 Collins
6471 Collins is a main-belt asteroid discovered on March 4, 1983 by Mrkos, A. at Klet.It is named after the Apollo 11 command module pilot Michael Collins.- External links :*...

. Also, like the other two Apollo 11 crew members, he has a lunar crater
Collins (crater)
Collins is a tiny lunar impact crater located on the southern part of the Mare Tranquillitatis. It is located about 25 kilometers to the north of the Apollo 11 landing site. Named after Michael Collins, the crater is the central member of the row of three craters named in honor of the Apollo 11...

 named after him.

Collins lives with his wife, Pat, in Marco Island, Florida
Marco Island, Florida
Marco Island is a city in Collier County, Florida, United States, located on an island by the same name in the Gulf of Mexico off the coast of Southwest Florida. It is a principal city of the Naples–Marco Island Metropolitan Statistical Area...

, and Avon, North Carolina
Avon, North Carolina
Avon is a a census-designated place in Dare County in the State of North Carolina in the United States of America. It is located at latitude 35°21'7" North, longitude 75°30'39" West. The village is south of Salvo and north of Buxton on Hatteras Island...

. Carrying the Fire is dedicated to her.

Collins is one of the astronauts featured in the documentary In the Shadow of the Moon
In the Shadow of the Moon
In the Shadow of the Moon is a 2006 British documentary film about the United States' manned missions to the Moon. It premiered at the 2007 Sundance Film Festival, where it won the World Cinema Audience Award. In March 2008, it was the first film to win the Sir Arthur Clarke Award for Best Film...

.
He also contributed to the book
In the Shadow of the Moon (book)
In the Shadow of the Moon: A Challenging Journey to Tranquility is a 2007 non-fiction book by space historians Francis French and Colin Burgess...

 of the same name. In 1989, some of his personal papers were transferred to Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, popularly known as Virginia Tech , is a public land-grant university with the main campus in Blacksburg, Virginia with other research and educational centers throughout the Commonwealth of Virginia, United States, and internationally.Founded in...

. He had a small part as "Old Man" in the 2010 movie, Youth in Revolt.

In popular culture

English rock group Jethro Tull
Jethro Tull (band)
Jethro Tull are a British rock group formed in 1967. Their music is characterised by the vocals, acoustic guitar, and flute playing of Ian Anderson, who has led the band since its founding, and the guitar work of Martin Barre, who has been with the band since 1969.Initially playing blues rock with...

 has a song "For Michael Collins, Jeffrey and Me" which appears on the Benefit
Benefit (album)
Benefit is the third album by Jethro Tull. It was released in April 1970. It was the first album to include pianist and organist John Evan , and the last to include bass guitarist Glenn Cornick. It reached #3 in the UK album charts.The album has more hard rock than its predecessor, Stand Up...

 album from 1970. The song compares the feelings of misfitting from vocalist Ian Anderson
Ian Anderson (musician)
Ian Scott Anderson, MBE is a Scottish singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist, best known for his work as the leader and flautist of British rock band Jethro Tull.-Early life:...

 (and friend Jeffrey Hammond
Jeffrey Hammond
Jeffrey Hammond sometimes credited as Jeffrey Hammond-Hammond, is a former bass guitar player for the progressive rock band Jethro Tull....

) with the astronaut's own, as he is left behind by the ones who had the privilege to walk on the surface of the moon.

The main antagonist 'Friend' in the manga 20th Century Boys
20th Century Boys
is a science fiction-mystery manga created by Naoki Urasawa. It won the 2001 Kodansha Manga Award in the General category, an Excellence Prize at the 2002 Japan Media Arts Festival, and the 2003 Shogakukan Manga Award in the General category. The last two volumes of the story were serialized under...

describes himself as Collins when asked for his true identity. This is supposed to mean he has been forgotten, even though he grew up with the rest of the characters, not unlike the way Collins is not as well known to the general population as the other members of the Apollo 11 flight.

The mockumentary
Mockumentary
A mockumentary , is a type of film or television show in which fictitious events are presented in documentary format. These productions are often used to analyze or comment on current events and issues by using a fictitious setting, or to parody the documentary form itself...

 Opération lune
Dark Side of the Moon (documentary)
Dark Side of the Moon is a French mockumentary by director William Karel which originally aired on Arte in 2002 with the title Opération Lune. The basic premise for the film is the theory that the television footage from the Apollo 11 Moon landing was faked and actually recorded in a studio by the...

briefly claims Michael Collins to be so deeply disappointed by not having set foot on the moon that he allegedly has retired from any public life and that his current whereabouts are supposed to be unknown.

Swedish writer/illustrator Bea Uusma Schyffert has written the children's book The Man Who Went to the Far Side of the Moon: The Story of Apollo 11 Astronaut Michael Collins (Chronicle Books, 2003) (original title: Astronauten som inte fick landa, Alfabeta, 2000).

In the 1996 TV movie Apollo 11
Apollo 11 (film)
Apollo 11 is a television film which aired on November 17, 1996. It was nominated for Primetime Emmy.-Plot:Fearful that the Russians would continue their lead in the space race and be the first to put a man on the moon, NASA felt an enormous pressure to push the Apollo Program forward as quickly as...

, Collins was played by Jim Metzler
Jim Metzler
Jim Metzler is an American television and film actor, best known for guest-appearances on popular TV series. In 1983, he received a Golden Globe nomination for his supporting role in the 1982 film Tex....

. In the 1998 HBO miniseries From the Earth to the Moon, he was played by Cary Elwes
Cary Elwes
Ivan Simon Cary Elwes , known professionally as Cary Elwes, is an English actor. The son of Dominick Elwes and Tessa Georgina Kennedy, Elwes acted in off-Broadway plays during college and moved to the United States in the early 1980s. He is known for his role as Westley in the cult classic The...

. In the 2009 TV movie Moon shot
Moon Shot (2009 film)
Moon Shot is a 2009 television film depicting the story leading up to the landing of Apollo 11 on the surface of the Moon on July 20, 1969.-Cast:* James Marsters: Buzz Aldrin* Andrew Lincoln: Michael Collins* Ursula Burton: Marilyn Lovell...

, he was played by Andrew Lincoln
Andrew Lincoln
Andrew Lincoln is an English actor, known for his roles in the TV series This Life, Teachers and Afterlife, and the films Love Actually and Heartbreaker...

.

Michael Collins was made fun of by The Moon character from The Mighty Boosh. The Moon said no one really knows who he is so he would like to readdress the balance with a poem. 'Michael Collins...you got all the way to the moon and did not even get out of your vehicle.' 'Might as well have stayed at home.'

External links

The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.
 
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