UPDATED for the 50th Anniversary July 2019 2009 Michael Collins Interviews Michael Collins
Statement from Apollo 11 Astronaut Michael Collins
The following is a series of questions and answers prepared by Michael Collins, command module pilot for Apollo 11.
These are questions I am most frequently asked plus a few others I have added. For more information, please consult my book, the 50th anniversary edition of CARRYING THE FIRE, published by Farrar, Straus & Giroux. Carrying the Fire: An Astronaut’s Journeys. All of the following sections in quotation marks are from that reference.
Q. Circling the lonely moon by yourself, the loneliest person in the universe, weren’t you lonely?
KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla. (NASA PR) — Vice President Mike Pence visited and gave remarks in the Neil Armstrong Operations and Checkout Building at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida on Saturday to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the agency’s Apollo 11 Moon landing and announce to America the completion of NASA’s Orion crew capsule for the first Artemis lunar mission.
On Space Exploration Day, we marvel at our country’s accomplishments
in space, commemorate the 50th anniversary of the first lunar landing,
and pledge to launch a new era of discovery and exploration of our
For more than a half century, the United States has led humanity’s
quest into the great unknown. Few moments in our American story spark
more pride than the Apollo 11 mission, when Neil Armstrong, alongside
Buzz Aldrin, planted our beautiful flag into the Moon’s surface on July
20, 1969. Those first steps upon that “magnificent desolation”
represent a remarkable era in American innovation that has inspired
future generations to become scientists and engineers and has served as a
catalyst for the technological revolution of the 21st century. The
Apollo 11 lunar landing was a spectacular demonstration of American
technical prowess and space leadership, and it served as an enduring
example of what can be accomplished, in the face of incredible odds, by
American heart, courage, and grit.
To honor those who have come before us and for the future betterment
of all humankind, we pledge to launch a new era of exploration,
extending our pioneering spirit into the farthest reaches of the cosmos.
My Administration is committed to reestablishing our Nation’s
dominance and leadership in space for centuries to come. I have
instructed the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) to
send the next man and first woman to the Moon and to take the next giant
leap—sending Americans to Mars. Sustained exploration that extends
from our Earth to the Moon and on to the Martian surface will usher in a
new era of American ingenuity, drawing untold individuals into the
fields of science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and defense.
On this Space Exploration Day, we celebrate our tremendous
technological advancements, honor those we have lost in the pursuit of
discovery, and embrace the American Spirit that has inspired our Nation
to lead the world in space.
By Lonnie Shekhtman NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md.
Humans have not had much of an opportunity to work on the Moon. The 12 Apollo astronauts who got to explore its surface clocked in 80 hours in total of discovery time. From their brief encounters, and from extensive analyses of Apollo samples and lunar meteorites that were found on Earth, scientists have learned nearly as much as is possible to learn about the lunar environment without much contact with the surface.
HOUSTON (NASA PR) — Individual images taken by the Apollo astronauts were pulled together by NASA imagery specialist Warren Harold at Johnson, and the accuracy of the unique perspective they represent was verified by Apollo 17 astronaut Harrison “Jack” Schmitt, the only geologist to walk on the Moon.
“The Valley of Taurus-Littrow on the Moon presents a view that is
one of the more spectacular natural scenes in the Solar System,” Schmitt
said about the images stitched together from his Moon base Station 5 at
the Taurus-Littrow landing site.
“The massif walls of the valley are brilliantly illuminated by the
Sun, rise higher than those of the Grand Canyon, and soar to heights
over 4,800 feet on the north and 7,000 feet on the south,” Schmitt
added. “At the same time, the summits are set against a blacker than
black sky — a contrast beyond the experience of visitors from Earth.
And, over the South Massif wall of the valley, one can always see home,
the cloud-swirled blue Earth, only 250,000 miles away.”
The Apollo 17 panorama also has been converted into an immersive panorama viewable on the NASA Johnson account on Facebook.
Inspect these images and learn more about the sites they depict at:
LONDON (UKSA PR) — The UK and US space agencies have signed a statement of intent, which paves the way for UK commercial satellite communication and navigation services to be used by future NASA missions to the Moon.
The agreement was announced in a speech from Science Minister Chris
Skidmore at the Policy Exchange in London on ‘Embracing the New Space
Age’ on 16 July, the anniversary of the Apollo 11 launch.
Fifty years ago today, three astronauts set off on the journey of a lifetime to make the first human landing on the moon. Twelve men would walk on the lunar surface, collect rocks and soil samples, and drive electric cars before the Apollo program ended in December 1972.
As the United States marks the 50th anniversary of Apollo 11’s historic first lunar landing on July 20, four of the 12 men who walked on the surface and eight others who flew around the moon are alive to celebrate it.
WASHINGTON (Smithsonian Institution PR) — Join us for a once-in-a-lifetime celebration of the 50th anniversary of Apollo 11, featuring a 363-foot Saturn V rocket projected on the east face of the Washington Monument and a special “Apollo 50: Go for the Moon” show. This presentation concieved and commissioned by the National Air and Space Museum, and is made possible through a partnership with the U.S. Department of the Interior and 59 Productions.
On July 16, 17, and 18 the projection will be live from 9:30 pm to 11:30 pm.
BAIKONUR, Kazakhstan (ESA PR) — The next astronauts to join the International Space Station are on their marks for their launch to Earth’s orbit on 20 July, a date that also commemorates the 50thanniversary of the Apollo 11 Moon landing.
ESA astronaut Luca Parmitano, Roscomos’ Alexander Skvortsov and NASA’s Andrew Morgan arrived last week at the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan for an intense schedule of pre-launch activities.
WASHINGTON (NASA PR) — NASA will celebrate the 50th anniversary of the historic Apollo 11 Moon mission and look to the future of exploration on the Moon and Mars with a live, two-hour television broadcast Friday, July 19, and partner-led events taking place across the country from July 16 through July 20.
HOUSTON, June 21, 2019 (United Airlines PR) — Fifty years after Apollo 11 landed on the Moon in July 1969, United Airlines stands with the nation in celebration of this milestone anniversary. Beginning today and continuing throughout July, the airline, in coordination with Houston First Corporation, Space Center Houston, NASA Johnson Space Center and OTG will provide customers with a variety of opportunities to learn about and celebrate space exploration. (more…)
Senators Gary Peters (D-Mich.) and Ted Cruz (R-Texas) have introduced legislation aimed at protecting the historic Apollo 11 landing site as the 50th anniversary of the mission approaches next month.
The One Small Step to Protect Human Heritage in Space Act seeks to protect the Sea of Tranquility site where Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin walked for its historical and archeological value.
“The Apollo 11 landing site and other similar historic landing sites in outer space merit legal protection from inadvertent or intentional interference with such sites or the environment surrounding such sites in order to prevent irremediable loss of archaeological, anthropological, historical, scientific, and engineering significance and value,” the bill states.
“As commercial enterprises and more countries acquire the ability to land on the Moon, it is necessary to ensure the recognition and protection of the Apollo 11 landing site and other historic landing sites together with all the human effort and innovation the sites represent,” the act added.
Organizations conducting operations in space would be required to comply with a set of recommendations issued by NASA in 2011 in order to received an U.S. government license for their missions. Fines are authorized for violations.
The bill contains an exception for activities “determined to have legitimate and significant historical, archeological, anthropological, scientific, or engineering value. The agency granting the license would be required to consult with NASA before granting an exemption.
The measure is being promoted by For All Moonkind, a non-profit group dedicated to the preservation of space sites.
“Thank you @SenGaryPeters and @SenTedCruz for the One Small Step to Protect Human Heritage in Space Act! Everyone – contact your Senators and tell them to vote to protect our history in space,” the group Tweeted.
ARLINGTON, VA; June 5, 2019 (PBS PR) – PBS is taking viewers on a unique adventure with the crew of Apollo 11 for their eight-day, three-hour, 18-minute and 35-second mission in 8 DAYS: TO THE MOON AND BACK, a new film co-produced with BBC Studios. Premiering Wednesday, July 17 at 9:00 p.m. ET as part of the previously announced “Summer of Space” multiplatform experience, the documentary seamlessly blends authentic rare mission audio featuring candid conversations between Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins with newly shot studio footage, NASA and news archives, and stunning CGI recreation of the historic journey and landing to bring this adventure back to life.