Michael Collins (astronaut)

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Michael Collins
Astronaut
Nationality American
Status retired
Born October 31, 1930 (1930-10-31) (age 84)
Rome, Italy
Other occupation Test pilot
Rank Major General, USAFR
Time in space 11d 02h 04m
Selection 1963 NASA Group
Missions Gemini 10, Apollo 11
Mission insignia
Ge10Patch orig.png Apollo 11 insignia.png

Michael Collins (born October 31, 1930 in Rome, Italy) was an American astronaut and test pilot. He was the pilot of the Apollo 11 mission to the moon.

Air force pilot[change | change source]

Collins went to the United States Military Academy. After training, he joined the United States Air Force. He flew F-86s at Chambley-Bussieres Air Base, France. He got into the USAF Experimental Flight Test Pilot School at Edwards Air Force Base in 1960. He tried to get into the second astronaut training group but he was not accepted. He did get into the third group.

Astronaut[change | change source]

Collins joined the third group of fourteen astronauts in 1963. He had 2 space flights. His first spaceflight was in Gemini 10. With John Young they joined up in space with two different spacecraft. Collins also did two space walks.

His second space flight was in Apollo 11 where he was the command module pilot. While he kept going around the Moon, Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin landed on the lunar surface. He is one of only 24 people to have flown to the Moon.

Later life[change | change source]

Collins left NASA in 1970. He took a job in the Department of State as Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs. A year later he became the director of the National Air and Space Museum. He did this job until 1978. He then became the undersecretary of the Smithsonian Institution. In 1980 he took the job as Vice President of LTV Aerospace. He left in 1985 to start his own business.

He is married to Patricia. They have three children: Kate, Ann and Michael, Jr. Kate is an actress, best known for her role as Natalie Marlowe Dillon in the daytime television drama All My Children.