Michael Collins, Apollo 11 Astronaut, Dies At 90 Collins flew on Apollo 11, the first lunar landing mission in 1969. As command module pilot, he didn't step on the moon but orbited 60 miles above as Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin walked on the moon.
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Michael Collins, Apollo 11 Astronaut, Dies At 90

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Michael Collins, Apollo 11 Astronaut, Dies At 90

Michael Collins, Apollo 11 Astronaut, Dies At 90

Michael Collins, Apollo 11 Astronaut, Dies At 90

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  • Transcript

Collins flew on Apollo 11, the first lunar landing mission in 1969. As command module pilot, he didn't step on the moon but orbited 60 miles above as Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin walked on the moon.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And let's take a moment now to remember Michael Collins, the third astronaut on one of the most famous space missions in history.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

UNIDENTIFIED ANNOUNCER: Six, five, four, three, two, one, zero, lift off. We have a liftoff.

WALTER CRONKITE: What a moment - man on the way to the moon.

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

In July 1969, Collins joined Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin on Apollo 11, the first lunar landing mission.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

NEIL ARMSTRONG: Houston, Tranquility Base here. The Eagle has landed.

INSKEEP: Collins himself never actually set foot on the moon. Think of him as the guy who was driving the getaway car. Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin took a lunar lander down to the surface, stepped down the ladder and onto the moon. Collins was orbiting above, piloting the command module.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

MICHAEL COLLINS: Everything looks OK up here.

UNIDENTIFIED PERSON: Roger out.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED NPR BROADCAST)

COLLINS: The thing I remember most is the view of planet Earth from a great distance - tiny, very shiny, blue and white, bright, beautiful, serene and fragile.

MARTIN: This is Collins from an interview with NPR in 2016.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED NPR BROADCAST)

COLLINS: It was a chapter in my life, the shiniest, best chapter in my life, but not the only one.

INSKEEP: Michael Collins died Wednesday at 90.

(SOUNDBITE OF JUSTIN HURWITZ'S "THE ARMSTRONGS")

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