Michael Collins, Apollo 11 Astronaut, by Eduardo Garcia Lama – Science – Life

Michael Collins is, quite safely, the least known astronaut on the Apollo 11 mission. He was ignored by the media in his day because he did not descend on the moon, Michael Collins went unnoticed by the general public, despite the sheer scale of his role that might excite him. Your interest: Colombia begins a new scientific expedition to the Pacific Ocean

Much confidence was placed in a LMU pilot, not only because he was the mission navigator or because he should have rescued the crew that went down to the moon in the event that he could not reach the lunar orbit after ascending from the surface, but also because he should have been able To single-handedly command a spacecraft like Apollo in all its flight phases.

It was precisely the possibility of this last scenario that instilled in it a deep “horror” that had kept itself a secret for many years. The risk of losing Neil and Buzz was real, and Collins knew having to return to Earth without them was an emotional plaque with which he had to live for the rest of his life.

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Michael Collins has always estimated that manned lunar missions have a superior historical meaning, a meaning that lies in the exploratory nature of man and his liberation from his home planet. In this sense, he attributed more historical significance to Apollo 8 than to that of 11.

On that trip, to which he was assigned, but was unable to participate due to an unexpected surgical intervention, a group of three people – Bormann, Lovelace, and Anders – broke away from the influence of their original world to go to another world. For the first time in the history of the human race.

Apollo 8 was not intended to land on the moon, but to travel to the moon and orbit around it for the first time, but Collins realized that leaving the place of origin, the cradle, was more important than reaching a human imprint and imprinting it elsewhere. Globalism. For him, the disassociation of the Earth was a special and unique conceptual event.

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He saw his contribution to space exploration with a sense of contributing to the advancement of the human race.

This is evident from his autobiographical book, entitled “Carrying Fire” – Portando Fuego -, in reference to the extent to which the transmission of fire was superior to the early hominins, who were able to control it, perhaps from some natural phenomena, such as a previous stage of their ability to generate it themselves Which has historically allowed the human race to be taken to unpredictable heights.

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In this way, Collins, in another example of the wise perspective of reality that has always characterized him, invokes the idea of ​​humanity taking its first steps in a new natural and technological scenario, namely the exploration and conquest of space; Which, presumably the fire control of an emerging human species, Michael Collins understood was likewise full of infinite and unexpected possibilities.

Have a good trip and good winds.

Eduardo Garcia is calling
Head of the Department of Engineering and Operations at the Orion Program, NASA
The author of the book Apollo 11: The Sweeping Story of How Humans First Stepped on the Moon

for the time

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