Learning Center Our Enshrinees

Michael Collins

  • In 1963, was among the third group of 14 astronauts selected for training.
  • Piloted the Gemini 10 in 1966 which became the second spacecraft in history to dock with another.
  • Seventeenth American to fly in space.
  • Served as CAPCOM for the Apollo 8 mission which was the first flight to leave low Earth orbit, reach the moon, orbit it and return.
  • Compiled a 117 page book for the Apollo 11 mission with numerous scenarios to have at hand if needed. Collins also created the now iconic Apollo 11 mission patch.
  • Command Module Pilot of the Apollo 11 mission. Though Collins did not walk on the moon,  he remained busy with essential tasks that readied the capsule for the crew’s journey back to Earth.
  • Ardently lobbied for National Museum of Air and Space funding and gained political momentum, and eventually, support. After persuasive petitioning by several influential leaders including Collins, $40 million was allocated for construction. Collins managed to open the NASM in 1976 under budget and within the desired time frame.
  • Rallied and changed the techniques that shared information about the artifacts. Collins conceived the addition of lectures, children’s programs, tours conducted by hundreds of volunteers, family days and more.
  • Remained Director of the National Air & Space Museum until 1978.

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