National Aeronautics and Space
Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center
Houston, Texas 77058
- NAME: Michael Collins (Major General, USAF, Retired) Aerospace
Consultant and Author, Washington D.C.
- NASA Astronaut
- PERSONAL DATA:
- Born October 31, 1930, in Rome, Italy.
- PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION:
- 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
- MARITAL STATUS:
- Married to the former Patricia Finnegan of Boston.
- Kathleen, May 6, 1959; Ann S., October 31, 1961; Michael L., February 23,
- RECREATIONAL INTERESTS:
- SPECIAL HONORS:
- 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
- NASA EXPERIENCE:
- 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.
- CURRENT EXPERIENCE:
- 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
In 1980, Collins became Vice President of the LTV Aerospace and Defense
Company, resigning in 1985 to start his own firm. He is author of 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