In Memoriam: Michael Collins

Michael Collins (Major General, USAF, Retired), October 31, 1930 – April 28, 2021

Michael Collins, the astronaut who took this photo, is the only human, alive or dead, that wasn’t in the frame of this picture when it was taken on July 21, 1969.

“This venture has been structured for three men, and I consider my third to be as necessary as either of the other two. I don’t mean to deny a feeling of solitude. It is there, reinforced by the fact that radio contact with the Earth abruptly cuts off at the instant I disappear behind the moon. I am alone now, truly alone, and absolutely isolated from any known life. I am it. If a count were taken, the score would be three billion plus two over on the other side of the moon, and one plus God knows what on this side.” – Michael Collins

This Is Science Fact

To celebrate the 42nd anniversary of the Apollo 11 Moon landing, I’m breaking my own rule and publishing something that isn’t about science fiction. It turned out, fortunately, to be science fiction, but when it was written its factuality was unknown. I’m referring to the beautiful, chilling speech written for President Nixon in the event the astronauts became stranded on the Moon. To be delivered to the nation while the astronauts were still alive and awaiting death by suffocation, they would have listened to a long range transmission of the President delivering this, their eulogy, from another planet, while their lives and final hours were helplessly mourned from a quarter of a million miles away.

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