Astronaut Michael Collins, a member of Apollo-11 mission that landed on the moon, has died at 90.
As Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin planted humanity’s first bootprints on the moon, Collins stayed behind to pilot the command module, circling roughly 60 miles above the lunar surface.
As such, Collins himself never stepped foot on the moon, though his accomplishments together with Armstrong and Aldrin contributed to what remains one of the most famous space missions in history.
Collins’ death was announced by family members.
“We regret to share that our beloved father and grandfather passed away today, after a valiant battle with cancer,” Collins’ family said in a statement on Twitter.
“He spent his final days peacefully, with his family by his side. Mike always faced the challenge of life with grace and humility, and faced this, his final challenge, in the same way. We will miss him terribly. Yet we also know how lucky Mike felt to have lived the life he did.”
Collins was known for his quiet and unassuming nature, and in recent years had become an active voice on social media, where he shared “his wise perspective gained both from looking back at Earth from the vantage of space and gazing across calm waters from the deck of his fishing boat,” his family said in the statement.