Michael Collins piloted the command module while Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin descended to the lunar surface for man’s first walk on the moon in 1969. He died on Wednesday at age 90 of cancer, his family said.
What was Collins’ role in the mission? After traveling the 238,000 miles to the moon, he waited in the ship alone for nearly 28 hours while his colleagues left in the lunar lander. He had to successfully re-dock the lander onto the command module for all three men to make it back to Earth. After that historic mission, he never returned to space.
Dig deeper: Listen to Paul Butler on The World and Everything in It remember the Apollo 11 mission through archived recordings.