What Michael Collins Relationship Was Like With Buzz Aldrin And Neil Armstrong

Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin, and the late Michael Collins — who has died at the age of 90, per NASA — will perhaps forever be known as the legendary astronauts of the Apollo 11 moon mission. Armstrong was the first man to walk on the moon. Aldrin was the second. And Collins stayed in the spacecraft, circling the moon, waiting to pick his crew members up to return home, per Navy Times. “Apollo 11 was a little different than some of the other flights,” Collins told the outlet. “We didn’t cruise around in color-coordinated Corvettes or anything like that. We were all business … and we felt the weight of the world upon us.”

July 2021 will mark 52 years since the Apollo 11 mission. Surely, these men, who are inextricably linked together, were close friends, right? Well, as it turns out, the crew of the Apollo 11 was unique. And not just in that they were the first crew to land, and walk, on the moon. Although most NASA crews do become close during training, the Apollo 11 crew didn’t.

Collins called the Apollo 11 team “amiable strangers,” per Navy Times. They had six months to prepare for the greatest space mission to date and had never been on the same crew before, with Collins adding the pace of their training left “little if any” time for bonding. So, did the relationship between Collins and his crew-mates improve on-board? Take one giant leap to find out.

The Apollo 11 crew were co-workers, not friends

Michael Collins was a top test pilot when he got chosen for the Apollo 11 mission. Meanwhile, Neil Armstrong was the celebrated pilot, and Buzz Aldrin the scholar, per Navy Times. But Collins didn’t mind being the so-called forgotten member of the Apollo 11 crew or the one left aboard. “I felt like I was Neil and Buzz’s meal ticket home,” he told Navy Times on hovering above the moon. “I was in no way, shape or form lonely.”

That said, Collins almost didn’t make the crew at all. He was part of the Gemini 10 mission in 1966 and was supposed to be a pilot on Apollo 8 — the first manned spaceflight to circle the moon. However, a bone spur in his neck disqualified him. He had it fixed and got put on Apollo 11. Friendship-wise, Aldrin’s sweet Twitter ode to his late ship-mate shows the three bonded during their history-making mission. “Wherever you have been or will be, we will miss you,” he wrote, along with a photo of the trio.

After Apollo 11, Collins left NASA six months later and went in another direction. He served as the assistant secretary of state for public affairs and was also the founding director of the National Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C. His final days were spent in Florida, fishing, painting, and reading, per Navy Times. He added that he felt “lucky, lucky, lucky” to have been a part of history.

Source: Read Full Article