Michael Collins (born October 31, 1930), (Major General, USAFR, Ret.), is a former test pilot and NASA astronaut who flew in the Gemini and Apollo programs. Gemini X with John Young, set an altitude record, performed two rendezvous and two EVAs, Mike became the first person to make more than one spacewalk. As the Command Module Pilot for Apollo 11 he remained in lunar orbit while Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin made the first manned lunar landing.
After leaving NASA in 1970, Mike took a job in the State Department as Assistant Secretary of State for Public Affairs. In 1971, he was named Director of the Smithsonian Institution’s National Air and Space Museum overseeing its new building creation and opening in 1976. He remained there until 1978 when he became undersecretary of the Smithsonian Institution. He later became VP of LTV Aerospace Corporation and started his own consulting business.
Mike is a watercolor painter and the author of several books including Carrying The Fire and Flying to the Moon and other strange places.