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What Apollo 11 pilot Michael Collins feared most during critical NASA mission


Apollo 11 astronaut Michael Collins reflects on the mission | USA TODAY

Apollo 11 astronaut Michael Collins reflects on the mission that began 50 years ago with Kennedy Center Director Bob Cabana.

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Apollo 11 Astronaut Michael Collins Talks Launch on 50th Anniversary

NASA's Apollo 11 command module pilot Michael Collins talks about the Saturn V rocket launching him towards the moon on July 16, 2019. -- Follow the Apollo Mission in Realtime, with mission audio and video:

Credit: NASA

Apollo 11 Astronaut Michael Collins Speaks With Expedition 60 Crew July 24, 2019


On the 50th anniversary of the return to Earth by the Apollo 11 astronauts from humanity’s first landing on the Moon, the pilot of the Apollo 11 command module Columbia spent a few minutes July 24 discussing spaceflight with the Expedition 60 crew aboard the International Space Station. Michael Collins conducted the call from the ISS Flight Control Room at the Johnson Space Center, Houston, one floor below the Mission Operations Control Room from which NASA engineers controlled the Apollo 11 mission.

The other Apollo Astronaut: Michael Collins #Apollo50

Michael Collins is a former astronaut who was part of the Apollo 11 moon mission. He was born in Rome on October 31, 1930, where his father, Major General James Collins, was stationed. After the United States entered World War II, the family moved to Washington, D.C., where Collins attended St. Albans School. During this time, he entered West Point Military Academy, and decided to follow his father into the armed services.
In 1952, Collins graduated from West Point with a Bachelor of Science degree. He joined the Air Force that same year. His excellent performance earned him a position on the advanced day fighter training team at Nellis Air Force Base, where he flew the advanced F-86 Sabres. He also served as an experimental flight test officer at Edwards Air Force Base in California, testing jet fighters.
Collins made the decision to become an astronaut after watching John Glenn's Mercury Atlas 6 flight. After his initial application was rejected, Collins entered the USAF Aerospace Research Pilot School as the Air Force began to research space more intensively. In 1963, NASA once again called for astronaut applications, and Collins was chosen to be part of the third group of astronauts.
Collins made two spaceflights as an astronaut. The first, on July 18, 1966, was the Gemini 10 mission, where Collins performed a spacewalk. The second was the famous Apollo 11 mission on July 20, 1969—the first lunar landing in history. Collins remained in the Command Module while his partners Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin walked on the moon's surface. After their safe return, Collins, Armstrong and Aldrin were all awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by Richard Nixon.
Collins left NASA in January 1970 and joined the administrative staff of the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C. A decade later, in 1980, he entered the private sector, to work as an aerospace consultant. He remains active to this day, the least well known but no less important member of the Apollo 11 crew.

Secrets Of Astronaut Michael Collins

Michael Collins was born in Rome, Italy on October 31, 1930. Inspired by John Glenn, he was chosen by NASA to be part of the third group of astronauts. His first spaceflight was the Gemini 10 mission, where he performed a spacewalk. His second was Apollo 11—the first lunar landing in history. Collins received the Presidential Medal of Freedom. He currently works as an aerospace consultant.

Tribute to Apollo 11 Astronaut Michael Collins

Michael Collins was one of the third group of astronauts named by NASA in October 1963. He served as pilot on the 3-day Gemini 10 mission. His second flight was as command module pilot of the historic Apollo 11 mission in July 1969. He remained in lunar orbit while Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin became the first men to walk on the Moon.

For more information on the Apollo Program, visit

Apollo 11: The final 13 minutes before the Moon landing - BBC News

The minutes before landing were tense, as connections frequently dropped out between the lunar module, Eagle, and mission control - and it was believed that fuel was running low.

Relive the tense moments as Neil Armstrong manually piloted Eagle towards the surface of the Moon.

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Apollo 50th: Launch Reflection at Pad 39A with astronaut Michael Collins

Launch Reflection at Pad 39A with astronaut Michael Collins and Kennedy Center Director Bob Cabana

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NASA | Apollo 11 reflections with Michael Collins at Pad 39A.

Apollo 11 reflections with Michael Collins at Pad 39A.

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One Giant Leap For Mankind (Apollo 11 Documentary) | Timeline

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With footage and interviews directly from the people that made the big steps for mankind, Moon Landing Apollo 11 gives us a firsthand insight to how the people of NASA orchestrated one of the most exciting events in space exploration of the 20th century.

Content licensed from Syndicado to Little Dot Studios. Produced by Biografilm Productions.

From the original documentary, Moon Landing Apollo 11.

Michael Collins - How did the Apollo astronauts feel?

Moon landing conspiracy theorists like to point out the body language of Apollo astronauts during interviews and press conferences as a proof that they never went to the moon.

Here is Michael Collins' explanation as to why the Apollo astronauts seemed so distant and tight lipped in the public eye.

The clip is a bonus scene from the documentary In the Shadow of the Moon (2007). I'd highly recommend the movie to all space buffs.

How Apollo 11 made it to the moon and back

Getting humans to the Moon and back was a carefully choreographed journey, with the landing on the lunar surface just one part of the historic Apollo 11 mission carried out by astronauts Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins. Narrated by legendary BBC presenter James Burke, who led the commentary on the Moon landing, this animation shows many of the crucial steps involved for humans to walk on another world.

Read more about the space race here

Michael Collins Recalls the View of Earth From the Moon

Fifty years ago, as Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin bounced on the moon’s surface below, Apollo 11 Command Module Pilot Michael Collins briefly disappeared behind the lunar disk, becoming the first person to experience space entirely alone. As we set our sights on the stars, space travelers will need to cope with ever longer stretches—months, years, and beyond—in the lonely environs of the cosmos. What will that take? What will that be like? How will it affect who we are? Join Michael Collins and fellow astronauts for a whirlwind journey boldly going where only a handful of humans have gone before.

The Big Ideas Series is supported in part by the John Templeton Foundation.

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Everything you need to know about Apollo 11: NASA, Australia & Neil Armstrong: The Man on the Moon

July 16th, 1969, was not a normal day. After years of training, planning and preparation, Neil Armstrong, Michael Collins, and Buzz Aldrin were about to go the Moon.

Yeah. The actual moon. Just a lazy 384,400 kays from earth.

Apollo 11 took off on a Saturn Five rocket - still the tallest, heaviest and most powerful rocket ever built.

It was built in stages, designed to break off and fall to earth once the fuel had been burnt up.
At the very top was a small command module where the crew spent three days eating and sleeping and exercising and going to the toilet.

Apparently the crew wanted to call it snow cone, but NASA thought Columbia was more appropriate. It was attached to the lunar module named Eagle, designed to take Buzz and Neil to the surface while Michael waited in Columbia.

But landing Eagle was tricky. NASA control, and the world, held its breath and then... the eagle landed.

It was such a unique opportunity that was presented to us as pilots to be given the opportunity to go into space and maybe land on the moon.
Neil and Buzz collected nearly 22 kilograms of moon rocks and dust, set up the American flag and, of course... took these incredible photos.

After an astronaut sleepover onboard Eagle, Neil and Buzz re-joined with Michael and made for home.

They landed safely, as heroes, but then had to spend 3 weeks quarantined in a caravan. Just in case they'd picked up any alien diseases.

By the time they got out, they were famous faces.

There were giant parades and celebrations around the world.

In the years that followed, NASA sent more people to the Moon.

But it was the original journey that captured the imagination of people everywhere.


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Michael Collins | Chasing the Moon | American Experience | PBS

Michael Collins piloted the command module nicknamed the Columbia, while Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin walked on the moon.

Learn more about our documentary CHASING THE MOON, including where to watch the full film:

Historic Apollo 11 Moon Landing Footage

Join us for a trip down memory lane! Starting at 4:02 p.m. EDT on July 20, 2019, NASA TV replayed the original footage of the 1969 Moon landing. Relive the moment:

Apollo 11: Landing on the Moon

On July 20, 1969, humans walked on another world for the first time in history, achieving the goal that President John F. Kennedy had set in 1961, before Americans had even orbited the Earth. After a landing that included dodging a lunar crater and boulder field just before touchdown, Apollo 11 astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin explored the area around their lunar landing site for more than two hours.

When the lunar module landed at 4:17 p.m EDT, only 30 seconds of fuel remained. Armstrong radioed Houston, Tranquility Base here. The Eagle has landed. Mission control erupted in celebration as the tension breaks, and a controller tells the crew You got a bunch of guys about to turn blue, we're breathing again.

For more information on the Apollo Program, visit

Apollo 11 - Day 8 Part 1 (Full Mission)

Apollo 11 - Day 8 Part 1 (Full Mission)

00:00:10 Overnight PAO
00:18:05 Wake Up
00:35:50 The Morning News
01:05:25 Final TV Transmission
01:23:22 The Green Team SIgns Off
01:33:02 Delta Launch Control (this audio is included on the Apollo 11 tapes)
01:37:00 Weird Noises !
01:53:24 Retargeting the Spalshdown
01:55:25 Goodnight and Thanks from the White Team

23rd July 1969 - This video begins at GET 162h 28m. The day includes a TV transmission in which the crew take it in turns to share their reflections on the flight. The video ends at GET 183h 27m.

With grateful thanks to Robin, Pat, Ben, Stephen, Dwight, Britt and Vinny and Ed without whom this project would not have been completed or be so complete in coverage.

All Video/Audio/Photographs courtesy NASA

I highly recommend following the series whilst reading the Apollo 11 Flight Journal -

and the Apollo Lunar Surface Journal -

Other great sites to link to which I have sourced for information or material in the making of the series-

The Apollo Audio Collection -
Virtual Apollo Guidence Computer Homepage -
Orbiter Space Flight Simulator -
Apogee Books -

Facebook Groups

Mercury, Gemini & Saturn/Apollo Era!! Facebook page -
Apollo 11 Facebook Page -
Space Hipsters Facebook Page -

The following books were invaluable in the making of the series

Apollo 11 The NASA Mission Reports (Parts 1, 2 and 3) - Robert Godwin
Footprints in the Dust - Colin Burgess
A Man on the Moon - Andrew Chaikin
Carrying the Fire - Michael Collins
Failure is Not an Option - Eugene Kranz
First Man - James Hansen/Neil Armstrong
Forever Young - James Hansen/John Young
Last Man on the Moon - Eugene Cernan
Rocket Men - Robert Kurson
Man on the Moon - Peter Fairley
The Invasion of the Moon - Peter Ryan
Chariots for Apollo - Courtney Brooks/James Grimwood/Loyd Swenson
LEM Lunar Excusion Module Failiarisation Manual - Grumman
How Apollo Flew to the Moon - David Woods
Apollo - A Chronology 1 to 4 - NASA
Growing Up with Spaceflight - Apollo Parts 1 & 2 - Wes Oleszewski
Live TV from the Moon - Dwight Steven-Boniecki

If you would like to donate to this and future projects (any money donated will go towards purchasing hardware/software for use on these series) - any donations are received with gratitude and thanks!

The Full Mission Series Production - An Explanation of the Process

Production began in February 2018 with the intention of release on the 50th anniversary of Apollo 11's launch day (subsequently the pre and post flight press conferences were added). Each video took between 1 and 3 months to produce. Full Mission videos start with editing of the available audio for that particular day, sometimes split bewteen 3 tracks of audio (air to ground/flight directors loop/crew onboard tape). Once that process is completed the available TV transmissions or other associated video is positioned along with 16mm film taken by the crew. Photographs are placed in the mission timeline aprroximately near to where there were taken in the mission. Captions are then added to give pertinent information. The gaps that are left visually are filled with screen captures of the spacecraft from the Orbiter Space Simulator. Positions of spacecraft are approximated to what would have been seen on the mission, but during TLI, CSM RCS and SPS burns (LOI etc) the orientation is as near as I can get it to the actual (with sage advice from RW). Once these screen captures are in place the Apollo Guidence Computer (Virtual AGC) screens are captured. This involves setting the AGC time to the PAO announcements during the flight, screen capturing them and then transferring them to the timeline. Finally the title sequences are added.

Final editing of the whole video takes place with a run-through of the whole thing before the render of the video. Video sizes vary from 4 to 24gb.

True Stories about the Apollo 11 Moon Landing

Fifty years ago, Apollo 11 began its voyage into American history. And if you've ever had questions about it - we have 5 answers for you! (and they're really weird).

The Saturn V rocket carrying astronauts Neil Armstrong, Edwin Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins launched from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida at 9:32 a.m. on July 16, 1969 — and just four days later, man first set foot on the moon. The moon mission was a milestone in human history. But it was also a groundbreaking moment in broadcast television, as CBS News anchor Walter Cronkite brought the frontier of space to living rooms across America.

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Historic Apollo 11 Footage: Returning to Earth after Moon Landing

“As a result of what you have done, the world's never been closer together .... We can reach for the stars just as you have reached so far for the stars, said President Richard Nixon to the #Apollo50th crew who had a successful voyage to land and walk on the Moon. Tune in on Wednesday, July 24 starting at 12:45 p.m. EDT as we broadcast historic footage of this moment



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