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Michael (Mike) Collins Status: Inactive. Trained as: Astronaut. Profession: Pilot. Sex: Male. Marital Status: Married. Children: Three. Birth Date: 31 October 1930. Birth City: Rome. Birth Country: Italy. Nationality: American. Group: 1963 NASA Group. Date Selected: 17 October 1963. Departed: 1970. Number of Flights: 2. Total Time: 11.09 days. Number of EVAs: 3. Total EVA Time: 1.50 hours.

NAME: Michael Collins

BIRTHPLACE AND DATE: Collins was born in Rome, Italy, on Oct. 31, 1930.

EDUCATION: Collins received a Bachelor of Science degree from the U. S. Military Academy in 1952 and attended an Advanced Management Program at Harvard Business School in 1974.

EXPERIENCE: After West Point, Collins chose an Air Force career. He eventually got into test pilot school and became an experimental flight test officer at the Air Force Test Center, Edwards Air Force Base, California.

NASA selected Collins as an astronaut in 1963. As pilot of the three-day Gemini 10 mission, launched July 18, 1966, he and commander John Young docked with an Agena target vehicle and used the Agena engine to maneuver near another Agena left in space by the Gemini 8 crew. Collins stepped outside and, using a gas gun he moved over to the second Agena and recovered a micrometeorite detection device attached to its side. After medical problems resulted in his loosing his seat on the Apollo 8 lunar orbit mission, he was assigned to Apollo 11 as command module pilot. While Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin took their historic first walk on the lunar surface in July 1969, Collins flew a ‘lonely lifeguard’ assignment for more than 24 hours, waiting for them to launch their lunar craft and rejoin him in lunar orbit.

He retired from the Air Force as a major general and left NASA in 1970. He served briefly as Assistant Secretary of State for Public Affairs and then in 1971 to 1978 was the first Director of the Smithsonian Institution's National Air and Space Museum. He has written several books about space, including "Carrying the Fire", (the best autobiography by an American astronaut), quot;Liftoff", and "Space Machine".

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Last update 3 May 2001.
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