The family of Apollo 11 astronaut Michael Collins announced that he died Wednesday of cancer at 90. Their statement read, “Mike always faced the challenges of life with grace and humility, and faced this, his final challenge, in the same way.”
Collins, along with Buzz Aldrin and Neil Armstrong, made up the historic crew that accomplished the first moon landing in 1969. But Collins never got to leave his footprints in the lunar dust because he had to remain alone in the command module Columbia for 28 hours while Armstrong and Collins completed their mission. Then, it was up to him to re-dock with the lunar module. Had anything gone wrong, Collins would have had to return alone.
Although he was often asked if he regretted never getting to walk on the moon, Collins would humbly state that he was satisfied with the part he played, and that as a command module pilot, he knew he was never considered for any other role.
Read the full story at the link to learn more about this extraordinary man, and to appreciate the vital role he played in accomplishing that “giant leap for mankind,” even if he didn’t get to take the one small step himself.