‘Truly Alone’: Late Astronaut Michael Collins’ Most Haunting Memory Of Apollo 11

Astronaut Michael Collins, who died on Wednesday at the age of 90, had a very different experience from his Apollo 11 crewmates. 

While fellow NASA astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin became the first and second humans to set foot on the lunar surface, Collins remained in orbit in the command module.

In so doing, he became one of just seven people to be alone in orbit on the far side of the moon, completely isolated from all humanity and all communications cut off, blocked by the moon itself.

Collins shared his haunting recollections of that moment in his 1974 book, Carrying the Fire

“I don’t mean to deny a feeling of solitude. It is there, reinforced by the fact that radio contact with the Earth abruptly cuts off at…

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