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Michael Collins Fast Facts

By CNN Library
updated 9:58 PM EDT, Sun April 14, 2013

(CNN) -- Here's an in-depth look at the life of astronaut Michael Collins.

Personal:
Birth date: October 31, 1930

Birthplace: Rome, Italy

Birth name: Michael Collins

Father: James Lawton Collins, a U.S. Army Major General

Mother: Virginia (Stewart) Collins

Marriage: Patricia M. (Finnegan) Collins (April 28, 1957 - present)

Children: Michael (February 23, 1963); Ann (October 31, 1961); Kathleen (May 6, 1959)

Education: U.S. Military Academy at West Point, B.S.,1952; Harvard University, Advanced Management Program, 1974

Military Service: US Air Force, 1952 - 1970, Major General

Other Facts:
Collins flew a "lonely lifeguard" assignment orbiting the moon while Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin landed on the surface.

Collins completed two space flights during his career, logging 266 hours in space - 1 hour and 27 minutes of this were extravehicular (space walking)

Believes that extraterrestrials do exist, telling the New York Daily News in 1999: "It seems to me the height of arrogance to say that our little stupid sun off in one obscure corner of an odd galaxy called the Milky Way should be the only one in the whole universe capable of developing what we sometimes refer to as intelligent life."

Timeline:
1960-1963 - Navy test pilot at Edwards Air Force Base.

October 17, 1963 - Michael Collins is part of the third group of men selected by NASA to be astronauts.

July 18-21, 1966 - Part of the Gemini 10 2-man crew, with John Young. The mission lasts 2 days, 22 hours, 46 minutes, and 39 seconds and completes 43 orbits of Earth. Gemini 10 docks with another ship and Collins becomes the third American to walk in space.

July 16-July 24, 1969 - Command Module Pilot of the Apollo 11 mission. He remains onboard the Columbia in lunar orbit while Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin explore the Moon's surface on July 20.

1969 - Receives the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

1970 - Retires from NASA.

1970-1971 - Assistant Secretary of State for Public Affairs.

1971-1978 - Director of the Smithsonian Institution's National Air and Space Museum.

1980-1985 - Vice President, LTV Aerospace & Defense Company.

1985 - Founds Michael Collins Associates, a DC aerospace consulting firm, and is inducted into the National Aviation Hall of Fame.

March 19, 1993 - Is inducted into the U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame.

July 20, 1994 - Joins President Clinton and other astronauts at White House ceremony to commemorate 25th anniversary of Apollo 11 Moon walk.

July 21, 2004 - Joins President George W. Bush at a White House ceremony with Buzz Aldrin and Neil Armstrong marking 35th anniversary of Apollo 11.

September 7, 2007 - "In the Shadow of the Moon," a documentary of the Apollo 11 mission is released.

November 16, 2011 - Receives the Congressional Gold Medal for Distinguished Astronauts along with Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and John Glenn.

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