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NASA Astronaut, Michael Collins, Leaves Us for Good

Michael Collins, a NASA astronaut, died at the age of 90. Collins is best known for capturing all of mankind, alive and dead, in a single photograph of the lunar module containing both Buzz Aldrin and Neil Armstrong in front of the Earth. That is, apart from himself. Collins had been battling a valiant battle with cancer, and his death was announced on his Facebook page by his family.

The statement read: “We regret to share that our beloved father and grandfather passed away today, after a valiant battle with cancer. 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 the calm water from the dek of his fishing boat.”

On July 20, 1969, Collins flew the command module on NASA‘s Apollo 11 flight, which circled the moon while Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldring landed at Tranquility Base. Because of his role, he was able to catch a photo of all of mankind in a single photo when the duo returned from the surface, with the exception of himself, of course. He is the only person in human history who does not appear in any way in the photograph.

Collins wrote many novels, including Carrying the Fire in 1974, which was dedicated to his wife, according to The Guardian. Patricia died in 2014, and Michael, their son, died in 1993. Collins leaves behind two daughters, Kate and Ann, as well as seven grandchildren and a sister.

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