Apollo 11 Pilot on Historic Lunar Landing Flight Michael Collins Has Died

Apollo 11 - Michael Collins - Credit NASA

Former astronaut Michael Collins – who flew the Apollo 11 mission to allow humans to step on the moon for the first time – has died at the age of 90.

His family says he “spent his final days peacefully” following a battle with cancer.

He orbited the moon while Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin walked on the surface in 1969.

The following is a statement from the Collins family:

We regret to share that our beloved father and grandfather passed away today, after a valiant battle with cancer. He spent his final days peacefully, with his family by his side. Mike always faced the challenges of life with grace and humility, and faced this, his final challenge, in the same way. We will miss him terribly. Yet we also know how lucky Mike felt to have lived the life he did. We will honor his wish for us to celebrate, not mourn, that life. Please join us in fondly and joyfully remembering his sharp wit, his quiet sense of purpose, and his wise perspective, gained both from looking back at Earth from the vantage of space and gazing across calm waters from the deck of his fishing boat.”