SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) — Astronaut Michael Collins has died after his battle with cancer, a statement from his family said Wednesday.
The beloved father and grandfather was integral to Americans reaching the moon – he was a pilot of the Apollo 11 command module.
A statement from acting NASA Administrator Steve Jurczyk said some called him ‘the loneliest man in history’ — “while his colleagues walked on the Moon for the first time, he helped our nation achieve a defining milestone. He also distinguished himself in the Gemini Program and as an Air Force pilot.”
The full statement from the Collins family reads:
“We regret to share that our beloved father and grandfather passed away today, after a valiant battle with cancer. He spent his final days peacefully, with his family by his side. Mike always faced the challenges 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. We will honor his wish for us to celebrate, not mourn, that life. Please join us in fondly and joyfully remembering his sharp wit, his quiet sense of purpose, and his wise perspective, gained both from looking back at Earth from the vantage of space and gazing across calm waters from the deck of his fishing boat.”