Michael Collins has died.

The space one. At one point, he was the loneliest man in human history. 

The space one as opposed to the long dead Easter rising one or the clarinet one?

I have been reflecting on the total lack of reaction to this post - not including the very impressive variation on the Yay! emoji there -  is it just too far back for this RoF generation to relate?

Suppose it’s difficult to react to a 90 year old dying. Even one who achieved one of the most spectacular feats of human history. 

I wonder what went through the third men’s minds. “Good news, you’re going to the moon. Bad news, you’re not landing...”

It was all rota’ed a long way in advance tho. He wouldn’t have expected to have been in the landing crew

well people managed to react to a 99 year old dying the other day pretty effectively and a 100 year old fund raiser a few months back too. 

I think the role he played is consistently underplayed in the story of the moon landing.   It's all very well getting into the LEM and landing it on the surface (and what it took to actually do that safely is a known legend involving Armstrong overriding the auto landing sequence and burning almost all the fuel to find a safer zone) but someone had to stay up there, revolve the command and service module, dock with the LEM and not fook it up so they could all then get back to Earth.  

I went into an actual bookshop last week and Norman Mailer's Fire on the Moon caught my eye so bought it and it's just been elevated to my next book to read. For reasons somewhat outy, but not on the sexy end of space exploration, I was exposed to a lot of this stuff as a child and it left its mark on me. 

At Uni my gf’s Dad worked at the European Space Agency.  Such a cool to say you do for a living. 

bear with me: 

He was a chemical engineer by qualification and started his career at Unilever where he created the edible antifreeze that makes jam runny in raspberry ripple ice cream and was the magic ingredient in that stopped the ice cream freezing the jam and the sponge in the Arctic Roll. He also invented Ice Magic (runny chocolate ice cream topping that froze hard).  

As if these were not sufficient proor or greatness he became some freeze drying expert and joined the ESA as head of the nutrition team . Then, having been tangentially involved in the space program through that unlikely route, he ended up a senior flight program director. F me. He used to go to run launches in W Africa. 


should have married her

If you ever want to feel inadequate read the CVs of the people who get accepted onto the NASA astronaut programme

Jelly if it turns out that your dad is Neil deGrasse Tyson I shall literally die of jealousy 

To be honest no idea who he was until I read this thread and still only half sure who he was.

wonderful clarinet player.  amazing he found the time really.  wonder if he played a tune in space.

Jethro Tull did a beautiful song about him called "For Michael Collins, Jeffrey, and Me". It's over 50 years old now. Recommend it.

when your sole data set is "what sails knows", please re-check the validity of your assumptions.

You have told us of this putative father in law before, mutters, and i concur that you should have married her. Imagine the awesome science experiments he could do with grandkids. 

re the moon landing, if you haven’t listened already the 13 minutes to the moon podcast is ace. 


tbf my late f-in-law was the absolute business and his enthusiasm pretty much sparked - and continues to spark - my son's classical music skills and interests, and now the lad studies music at university and is playing and producing some awesome stuff.  A scientist grandpa would have been wasted on him as getting him through GSCE maths was the hardest life challenge we have all had so far and concentrating on anything except music and drawing/painting was exasperating.

But there would have been plenty of raspberry ripple, arctic roll and ice magic. 

You have told us of this putative father in law before, mutters, and i concur that you should have married her. Imagine the awesome science experiments he could do with grandkids. 

Not to mention blast the mother-in-law into space

Or, using his heightened level of understanding of the freeze drying process, turn her to a crisp and powder her then stick it in a vacuum pack and send it out into the universe never to darken the...

sorry getting a bit carried away there

Apparently, when Neil Armstrong was pondering what his first words on the moon would be, Collins suggested “What is that thing” then to scream and then cut the microphone. 

Imagine going all that way and then having to wait in the rocket. Sucks.

Gr8 view though! Hope he took some photos. 

I’ve always thought that they should send a poet on these trips rather than some airforce, military types who’s vocabulary and imagination is limited to military speak. Then we could have some literary, beautiful descriptions to go with the super photos.