Micheal Collins, referred to as the ' Forgotten Astronaut of Apollo 11', died on Wednesday. His family issued a statement on Twitter, saying that Collins, 90, passed away after a valiant battle with cancer.
Collins was a part of the Apollo 11 mission that flew to the Moon in 1969. While Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin stepped on the moon, Collins remained in the mother ship in the lunar orbit, hence he is often called 'the forgotten astronaut'.
"Mike always faced the challenges of life with grace and humility, and faced this, his final challenge, in the same way. Please join us in fondly and joyfully remembering his sharp wit, his quiet sense of purpose, and 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," Collins' family posted on his official Twitter account.
Details about the service would be forthcoming, they added.
In a statement, NASA said, “Today the nation lost a true pioneer and lifelong advocate for exploration in astronaut Michael Collins. As pilot of the Apollo 11 command module – some called him ‘the loneliest man in history’ – while his colleagues walked on the Moon for the first time, he helped our nation achieve a defining milestone. He also distinguished himself in the Gemini Program and as an Air Force pilot."