He is the third man in the Apollo 11 mission, the one who did not walk on the moon. Its role was nevertheless capital and has moreover been widely underlined since that famous July 20, 1969, when Neil Armstrong first set foot on our satellite. On July 19, 2019, on the eve of the celebration of this fiftieth anniversary, Google’s Doodle honored Michael Collins. The latter died on April 28, 2021 from cancer.
Michael Collins will never go to the moon
“I’ve always been asked if I wasn’t the loneliest person in the solar system when I was alone in orbit“, the astronaut remembered in 2019.”And the answer is no, I felt good!Michael Collins did remain in orbit around the moon, aboard the Apollo command and service module, ninety-seven kilometers above the ground as Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin descended to land on the Moon in the lunar module. For almost twenty-four hours, he was really the most isolated man in the world but it was above all the fate of his two colleagues that worried him. In the end everything went well and the trio returned on Earth, under the honors.
Michael Collins in July 1969. Credit: Nasa.
A few months after Apollo 11, Michael Collins left the NASA Astronaut Corps for a government post. Whoever won the Moon for humanity will never set foot there. It will take almost fifty to publicly confess a slight regret.
The adventure told by the 3rd man
On Friday July 19, 2019, the Google search engine honored the astronaut through his Doodle of the day. A click on the drawing opens an animated video in which Michael Collins tells the different stages of the Apollo 11 mission. A very well done summary and pleasant to watch.
After the Apollo 11 mission, ten more astronauts walked on the moon. The last were Eugene Cernan and Harrison Schmitt in 1972 during Apollo 17. Who will be next? The United States, under the leadership of Donald Trump, had decided to retry the adventure and are planning a moon landing in 2024. Will they meet these deadlines? The Moon has not finished talking about it …