17 Things You Didn't Know About Astronaut Michael Collins

Apollo 11 astronaut Michael Collins was one of those American heroes whose name you never remember. He was on the first moon landing mission, but Collins was actually most famous for what he didn't do: He never walked on the moon. He flew 250,000 miles to the moon on Apollo 11 but never set foot on the satellite. On July 20, 1969, when Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin landed the Eagle on the lunar surface, the third member of their crew, Collins, was all alone, orbiting the moon in the Columbia, their command module.

He was part of the most famous space mission of all time, and a crucial part of one of humanity's most monumental achievements, yet most Americans don't know who Michael Collins was. This list is full of trivia and facts about Collins, all of which are reminders of just how unstoppably awesome Collins was and always will be.

This list is jam-packed with surprising information that will make you rethink a guy you've probably never given enough thought. Most people imagine Collins was bitter about not traipsing on the moon, but did you know that he actually turned down the chance to explore the lunar surface on a later Apollo mission? Or that he was one of the driving forces behind the Smithsonian's National Air & Space Museum, one of the single most popular museums in the world?

Michael Collins, who passed April 28, 2021, at age 90, may be remembered forever as the Apollo 11 astronaut who got the short end of the stick, but he was so much more than that, and this list proves it. Read on for trivia about the space explorer, pilot, and all-American guy who was so cool he didn't even need to walk on the moon.