Michael Collins ( Rome , October 31 1930 ) is a former American astronaut . He was in 1969 a member of the crew of the historic Apollo 11 flight that the first manned landing on theMoon performed. Collins was assigned to the mother ship to orbit the Moon while his colleagues Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin stayed on the Moon.
Collins studied at the United States Military Academy at West Point . He then joined the United States Air Force and flew an F-86 from the air base in the French Chambley-Bussières .He was in 1960 admitted to the USAF test pilot school at Edwards Air Force Base .
Collins was rejected the first time as an astronaut. In October 1963, he was well selected, along with thirteen others. Four of them came on in training. Collins flew twice in space . The first time was in 1966 with the Gemini 10 in the context of the Gemini program , along with John Young who served as commander-pilot. On the first flight day was one of the shutters opened and conducted Collins, standing in the opening of the Gemini 10, and some experiments were pictures of the stars . After meeting on the second day with unmanned spacecraft , the Agena 8, Collins made a spacewalk to pick up a device from the outside of the Agena 8 and bring to earth. In addition, use was made of the so-called maneuvering gun to move. Located in the space Collins lost in this experiment a camera. The Gemini 10 is also coupled to a previous version of the Agena still flew into space after the mission with the Gemini 8 . It was the first time that a coupling was accomplished with two spacecraft.
After this flight, he formed with Frank Borman and William Anders , the crew of Apollo 8 . Just before the launch was Collins medical problems and needed surgery on his neck. As a result, he could not come, and he was eventually transferred to the mission of Apollo 11. His place was taken by the Apollo 8 Jim Lovell .
His second spaceflight was as commander of the Apollo CSM on the Apollo 11 mission. During the training, he told Deke Slayton that this would be his last. spaceflight Slayton nevertheless offered him afterwards again to return to the space back. That would have, according to Collins probably means he would have become the Apollo 14 mission and commander of the backup Commander Apollo 17 . Collins is one of the 24 people who have flown to the Moon.
After his career as an astronaut, he was from January 1970 in the government of President Richard Nixon's Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs. In that capacity, he was head of the Public Affairs Department, and he became interested in the explanation of the importance of foreign policy. A little over a year later, he became director of the National Air and Space Museum in Washington DC He held this position until 1978 , when he accepted a position at the Smithsonian Institution . Two years later, he was Vice President of LTV Aerospace, a company that manufactures aircraft and missiles. In 1985 he started his own company. Like many of his fellow astronauts, he has written several books, including Carrying the fire .
Collins is married and has three children.