Meet The Loneliest Person In The Record Of History!
Aug. 04, 2020
Everybody remembers the first two men to walk on the Moon: Neil Armstrong, and Buzz Aldrin. Though, there was also a third man aboard Apollo 11.
Can you remember his name? Considering how overlooked he is, the chances are slim…
His name was Michael Collins.
Collins was an essential part of the Apollo 11 mission. While Neil and Buzz were bumming it out on the Moon’s surface, Collins was in charge of the command module that would allow the team to return to Earth. This was no easy task, either. Collins was in orbit around the Moon for roughly a 22 hour timespan.
Yet, this wasn’t the worst of it. As Collins orbited around the far side of the Moon, there was a 47 minute period where the Moon completely blocked Earth. During those 47 minutes? All of Collins’ communications were rendered inoperable. He was completely and utterly alone.
At the time NASA declared, “Not since Adam has man known such solitude.”
Awe-inspiring as NASA’s quote may have been, only Collins’ own words truly captured the gravity of his isolation:
“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.” — Statement from Apollo 11 Astronaut Michael Collins.
The first two men to land in “the Sea of Tranquility” may have accomplished one of humanity’s greatest achievements. Nevertheless, Michael Collins achieved a level of tranquility beyond what any human has, or perhaps ever will, know.
Michael Collins might not be the first astronaut people think of when they hear the words “Apollo 11”. Though, I’ll always have a unique reverence for the role he played in that mission.
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