National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center
Houston, Texas 77058
NAME: Michael Collins (Major General, USAF, Retired)
Aerospace Consultant and Author, Washington D.C.
- NASA Astronaut
- Born October 31, 1930, in Rome, Italy.
- Graduated from Saint Albans School in Washington,
D.C.; received a Bachelor of Science degree from the United States
Military Academy at West Point, N.Y., in 1952. He also attended
the Harvard Business School in the advanced management program.
He has honorary degrees from six colleges and universities.
- Married to the former Patricia Finnegan of Boston.
- Kathleen, May 6, 1959; Ann S., October 31, 1961;
Michael L., February 23, 1963.
- Collins has received numerous decorations
and awards, including the Presidential Medal for Freedom
in 1969, the Robert J. Collier Trophy, the Robert H.
Goddard Memorial Trophy, and the Harmon International Trophy.
- Prior to joining NASA, Collins served as a fighter pilot
and an experimental test pilot at the Air Force Flight Test Center,
Edwards Air Force Base, California, from 1959 to 1963. He logged
more than 4,200 hours flying time.
- Collins was one of the third group of astronauts
named by NASA in October 1963. He served as pilot on the 3-day Gemini
10 mission, launched July 18, 1966, during which he set a world altitude
record and became the nation's third spacewalker, completing two
extravehicular activities (EVAs).
His second flight was as command module pilot of the historic Apollo 11
mission in July 1969. He remained in lunar orbit while Neil Armstrong
and Buzz Aldrin became the first men to walk on the Moon.
Collins has completed two space flights, logging 266 hours in space, of
which 1 hour and 27 minutes were spent in EVA.
Upon leaving NASA in January 1970, Collins became Assistant
Secretary of State for Public Affairs.
In April 1971, Collins joined the Smithsonian Institution as
Director of the National Air and Space Museum, where he remained
for 7 years. He was responsible for planning and construction of
the new museum building, which opened to the public in July 1976,
a few days ahead of schedule and below its budgeted cost. In April
1978, Collins became Undersecretary of the Smithsonian Institution.
In 1980, Collins became Vice President of the LTV Aerospace and
Defense Company, resigning in 1985 to start his own firm. He is
CARRYING THE FIRE (1974), which describes his experience in the
space program. He followed it with FLYING TO THE
MOON AND OTHER STRANGE PLACES (1976), a book about space for
younger readers. In 1988 he wrote LIFTOFF: THE STORY OF
AMERICA'S ADVENTURE IN SPACE.
ARCHIVAL BIOGRAPHY LAST UPDATED 1989
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