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Apollo 11 astronaut dies

Michael Collins takes a break during training for the moon mission in Cape Kennedy, Fla., in 1969. Associated Press (file)

Apollo 11 astronaut dies

Michael Collins piloted the command module while Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin descended to the lunar surface for man’s first walk on the moon in 1969. He died on Wednesday at age 90 of cancer, his family said.

What was Collins’ role in the mission? After traveling the 238,000 miles to the moon, he waited in the ship alone for nearly 28 hours while his colleagues left in the lunar lander. He had to successfully re-dock the lander onto the command module for all three men to make it back to Earth. After that historic mission, he never returned to space.

Dig deeper: Listen to Paul Butler on The World and Everything in It remember the Apollo 11 mission through archived recordings.

Rachel Lynn Aldrich Rachel is an assistant editor for WORLD Digital. She is a Patrick Henry College and World Journalism Institute graduate. Rachel resides with her husband in Wheaton, Ill.


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Janet B

Rest in peace, brave man.


In his book, Carrying the Fire, Collins made a poignant, if chilling observation. He wrote that there is no feeling of loneliness that compares with being a quarter of a million miles from earth, alone in a space capsule, while your closest friends are on the moon—and you realize that everything you can touch was supplied by the lowest bidder.

They are and were very brave men. Go with God, Michael Collins.