Michael Collins 1930-2021

May 11. 2021

Two weeks ago we heard about the passing of astronaut Michael Collins. In 1969, together with Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin, Collins went to the moon to attempt the first landing on the moon surface. While Armstrong and Aldrin took their lunar lander down to the surface with great success, Collins stayed behind in their tiny orbiting spacecraft circling the moon awaiting for the two others to return so they could fire up their engine and go back home to earth. Collins also did a spacewalk and orbited the earth together with John Young as a part of the Gemini program in 1966. Their spacecraft (Gemini 10) was exhibited at Teknisk Museum here in Oslo for years and years. I have vague memories of seeing it as a child. Sadly it was sent back to the US to venture into another museum. The Apollo 10 capsule (in which John Young went to the moon the first time) is to be seen in the Science Museum in London. Which is pretty cool! Michael Collins’ autobiography “Carrying The Fire” is one of my personal favorites about the Moon program. It’s a very funny and easy read book about an adventure only a handful of people have experienced. All the astronauts and cosmonauts at the time were pretty individual and cool in their own ways, most of them very likable, but I’d say Michael Collins sticks out in the crowd! He had an unique ability of using words to (try to) describe the moon program to us who weren’t there. Insane times.

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Image source: NASA