Connect with us


Essential to the Apollo 11 Mission, NASA Astronaut Michael Collins Dies At 90

On Wednesday, NASA Astronaut Michael Collins, a member of the Apollo 11 mission that landed on the moon, died at age 90 from cancer, according to statements made on Twitter by family members. 

Just within 69 miles of the Moon, Collins Collins himself never stepped foot on the moon, but you better believe his accomplishments in the 238,000 mile journey were essential to the most famous space mission known to mankind, Apollo 11, which was a three-man crew, with Buzz Aldrin, Neil Armstrong, and Collins flying together, which effectively ended the space race between the United States and Russia— a major priority for the former U.S. President John F. Kennedy, whose goal it was to reach the moon by the end of the 1960s.

Selected by NASA to become an astronaut in 1963, Collins took his first flight aboard Gemini 10 on July 18, 1966, for a three-day mission conducting a docking test and a double rendezvous in orbit. This mission made Collins the third person in U.S. history to conduct a spacewalk. 

As displayed in the above tweet from Collins’ family to Collins’ Twitter account:

“We regret to share that our beloved father and grandfather passed away today, after a valiant battle with cancer,” Collins’ family said in a statement on Twitter. “He spent his final days peacefully, with his family by his side. Mike always faced the challenge of life with grace and humility, and faced this, his final challenge, in the same way. We will miss him terribly. Yet we also know how lucky Mike felt to have lived the life he did.”

Acting NASA Administrator Steve Jurczyk released his statement today, recognizing Collins for his lifelong commitment to space exploration:

“Today the nation lost a true pioneer and lifelong advocate for exploration in astronaut Michael Collins,” acting NASA Administrator Steve Jurczyk said in a statement. “Whether his work was behind the scenes or on full view, his legacy will always be as one of the leaders who took America’s first steps into the cosmos. And his spirit will go with us as we venture toward farther horizons.”

Disrupt Magazine reached out to NASA Headquarters in Washington, D.C., to which it provided a recent statement to us from U.S. President Joe Biden:

“Michael Collins lived a life of service to our country. From his time in the Air Force, to his career with NASA, to his service at the State Department, to his leadership of the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum; Michael Collins both wrote and helped tell the story of our nation’s remarkable accomplishments in space.

Many remember him as the astronaut who was by himself, orbiting the Moon as Buzz Aldrin and Neil Armstrong walked on the lunar surface. He may not have received equal glory, but he was an equal partner, reminding our nation about the importance of collaboration in service of great goals. From his vantage point high above the Earth, he reminded us of the fragility of our own planet, and called on us to care for it like the treasure it is.

Although, in his life of accomplishment, he earned many titles and achieved the rank of general, he demanded that everyone call him, simply, Mike.

Our prayers are with General Collins’ family.  Godspeed, Mike.”

Having retired from NASA in 1970, Collins transitioned from his position with the space agency to serving as the director of the National Air and Space Museum and as undersecretary of the Smithsonian Institution.

Collins was also a bestselling author, having penned and published his 1974 memoir, “Carrying the Fire: An Astronaut’s Journey,” where Collins reflected on his solitary time in orbit around the moon. It was because of this book that many nicknamed the astronaut “the loneliest man in history”.

A passage from his memoir:

I am alone now, truly alone, and absolutely isolated from any known life,” Collins wrote in his memoir. “I am it. If a count were taken, the score would be three billion plus two over on the other side of the moon, and one plus God knows what on this side.”

After news of Collins’ passing, Aldrin, the last remaining member to the Apollo 11 mission, tweeted a picture on Wednesday of the three crewmates laughing, saying:

Dear Mike, Wherever you have been or will be, you will always have the Fire to Carry us deftly to new heights and to the future.”

If you haven’t yet read Collins’ memoir, it’s definitely worth picking up. Collins revealed that the reason he chose to apply to NASA, had everything to do with former NASA astronaut John Glenn’s 1962 flight, making Glenn the first American to orbit the earth. 

In addition to his memoir, Collins also wrote a book tailored towards younger readers, “Flying to the Moon: An Astronaut’s Story.” Collins has been very proactive on social media, urging more spending to be allocated towards space exploration and for an astronaut mission to Mars.

“It’s human nature to stretch, to go, to see, to understand,” Collins said on the 10th anniversary of the moon landing in 1979. “Exploration is not a choice really — it’s an imperative, and it’s simply a matter of timing as to when the option is exercised.”

Collins is survived by two daughters and grandchildren. 

For more articles by Andrew Rossow, please click here.

Andrew Rossow is the Legal Editor and Strategy Operations Advisor at Disrupt Magazine. He is a practicing attorney and the CEO and President of AR Media Consulting. He serves as a co-founder of The Guardian Project, alongside TV actor, Mark Pellegrino (13 Reasons Why, Supernatural, Lost, Dexter). Rossow has appeared regularly on CHEDDAR TV, ABC, FOX, CBS, and NBC affiliate networks throughout the U.S. He has been recognized by Entrepreneur and Fast Company for his journalistic integrity in helping build out and grow media outlets, formerly Grit Daily News.

Advertisement Become A Crypto Expert

Join Disrupt Magazine

Become A Crypto Expert
Become A Disrupt Contributor

Most Disruptive

Entrepreneurship5 months ago

Navy Veteran Davis Chris Takes the Music Industry by storm

In life, you need to break down anything that might be holding you back and change course if need be...

Entrepreneurship6 months ago

5 Disruptive Leaders Paving the Way in 2021

Where there is uncertainty, lies a whirlwind of opportunity. 2020 was the year that had entrepreneurs learn a great deal...

Politics1 year ago

Brock Pierce Wants To Disrupt The Two Party System And Be Your Next President

We don’t usually cover politics much here at Disrupt, but when Crypto billionaire and friend of the show, Brock Pierce...

Business1 year ago

John Mcafee – Predictions For The Future

John McAfee is a world-famous tech CEO, computer scientist, civil disobedience activist, privacy advocate, and pioneer of the commercial anti-virus...

Finance1 year ago

Gaby Wall Street – Teaching Latinas to Thrive During The Crisis

It’s no secret we are facing one of the most challenging financial times of the last few decades as we...

Entrepreneurship1 year ago

Tony Delgado – The #1 Entrepreneurship Movement In Puerto Rico

Puerto Rican online market is in constant progress. With many entrepreneurs who are coming here to start a business, it...

Entrepreneurship1 year ago

Elena Cardone – The 10X Ladies Conference Is Declaring 2020 The Decade For Women

The next ten years are meant for women to continue growing their potential and succeeding in multiple areas, including business....

Marketing2 years ago

How Josh Elizetxe Built Snow Into a $40 Million Dollar Business

There is nothing quite like an entrepreneur’s determination when starting a business. That’s my original quote by the way (pun...

Entrepreneurship2 years ago

How Jason Capital Became A Self Made Millionaire By 24

Have you ever wanted to earn the respect of everyone who ever looked down on you at some point in...

Entrepreneurship2 years ago

Sam Bakhtiar On His Way To A Quarter Billion

Dr. Saman Bakhtiar, who prefers being referred as Sam, lives in an 8200 square foot $5.2 million house, Sam is...


Copyright © 2020 Disrupt ™ Magazine - Disrupt is a Minority Owned Privately Held Company

Disrupt ™ is the voice of Latino entrepreneurs around the world. We are part of a global movement to increase diversity in the technology industry and we are focused on using entrepreneurship to grow new economies in underserved communities around the world. We enable millennials to become what they want to become in life by learning new skills and leveraging the power of the digital economy. We are living proof that all you need to succeed in this new economy is a landing page and a dream. Disrupt tells the stories of the world top entrepreneurs, developers, creators, and digital marketers and help empower them to teach others the skills they used to grow their careers, chase their passions and create financial freedom for themselves, their families, and their lives, all while living out their true purpose. We recognize the fact that most young people are opting to skip college in exchange for entrepreneurship and real-life experience. This Podcast was designed to give them a taste of that.