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Command Module Pilot
Born Rome, Italy
October 3 1, 1930
Michael Collins graduated from the United States Military Academy in 1952, choosing to enter the Air Force after graduation. An experimental test pilot at the Air Force Flight Test Center, Edwards AFB, California, he tested performance, stability, and control characteristics of jet fighters, logging more than 4,200 hours flying time.
He was selected as an astronaut by NASA in October 1963. His first crew assignment was as backup pilot on the Gemini VII Mission. As a pilot on the record setting 3-day Gemini X Mission, launched July 18, 1966, he accomplished a successful rendezvous and docking with a separately launched Agena target vehicle. Using power from the Agena, he maneuvered the Gemini craft into a new orbit and rendezvoused with a second passive satellite. At this time, Michael Collins made two extra-vehicular space walks, retrieving a micrometeorite detection experiment from the Agena,
As Command Module Pilot on the epic Apollo XI first lunar landing mission, he remained in lunar orbit while Neil Armstrong and Edwin Aldrin walked the Moon's surface. The perfection and skill with which he performed this mission, recovering the Eagle and returning the orbiter to Earth, were vital the success of the mission.
After leaving NASA, COL. Collins served as Assistant Secretary of State for Public Affairs from June 1970 until April 1971. He then became Director of the National Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C., guiding the prestigious institution through the planning and construction of its fabulous new facilities. He currently serves as an executive in the aerospace industry.
Invested 1971 in the International Aerospace Hall of Fame
From "These We Honor," The International Hall of Fame; The San Diego Aerospace Museum, San Diego, CA. 1984
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