The great Michael Collins has passed. by zafrada

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· @zafrada ·
The great Michael Collins has passed.

A neat factoid of Michael Collins' life is he wasn't originally going to be on Apollo 11. He was supposed to be on Apollo 8, but a cervical disc herniation (a common affliction of astronauts from the physical stress of training and space flight) and the resulting spinal surgery removed him from the rotation. His backup, Jim Lovell, took his place on Apollo 8. After his recovery he was assigned to the Apollo 11 mission with Aldrin and Armstrong.

This is the photo Michael Collins took from the command module of the lunar module returning from the Moon.

As a result of the rotation change, Lovell also ended up on the infamous Apollo 13 mission.

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Since they touched on the "loneliest man in history" line in that statement, I'd like to contribute Michael Collins's own words on the subject:

>*"Far from feeling lonely or abandoned, I feel very much a part of what is taking place on the lunar surface. I know that I would be a liar or a fool if I said that I have the best of the three Apollo 11 seats, but I can say with truth and equanimity that I am perfectly satisfied with the one I have. This venture has been structured for three men, and I consider my third to be as necessary as either of the other two. 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 the instant I disappear behind the moon, I am alone now, truly alone, and absolutely isolated from any known life. I am it. If a count were taken, the score would be three billion plus two over on the other side of the moon, and one plus God knows what on this side."*
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