The story of one of the most famous photographs of the 20th century

This powerful image has not been repeated in 50 years, although we hope that this situation can change soon. It is a photograph in which all humanity is portrayed, except the author of the photo.

Astronaut Michael Collins died on April 28, at the age of 90. His death has barely had an impact outside the American press, beyond conventional news. Nothing to do with the passing of his partner Neil Armstrong, the first human being to step on the moon.

Michael Collins was the third astronaut on the mythical Apollo 11 mission, along with Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin, and the only one who did not land on the moon. Relative importance, considering that it orbited it just a few kilometers away, and thanks to this captured the spectacular photograph that you can see in the cover image.

It distinguishes the Moon in the foreground, earth in the background, and the Eagle module that carried Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin just after stepping on the Moon, to return home.

In the Apollo 11 mission, the Eagle module landed on the moon. But someone had to stay in the Columbia command module to coordinate the mission and make sure astronauts could be picked up to return to Earth. That task belonged to Michael Collins.

While his companions were making history by stepping on our satellite for the first time, Collins gave 31 laps to the moon at Columbia. In those 21 hours of waiting he had time to make a good handful of photographs, including the most famous, which you can see at the beginning of the news.

The press of the time christened Collins with the nickname The Loneliest Man on Earth because he could not even hear Neil Armstrong deliver his famous speech: "A small step for man, but a great leap for Humanity."

At that time I was on the Hidden Side of the Moon, and all communications were cut off. Humanity looked amazed at the astronauts' first steps on the satellite, while Collins, who was a few hundred miles away, did not know if his companions were safe and sound.

Upon his return to Earth, Michael Collins enjoyed the days of fame, but soon retired from NASA in 1970. He was director of the National Air and Space Museum and the Smithsonian and later worked as an aerospace consultant and writer.

Astronautas de la misión Apolo XI

Here we can see Michael Collins in his official photo of the Apollo 11 mission. On the right, we have Buzz Aldrin, Collins, and Neil Armstrong in 2009, along with Barack Obama, to celebrate the 40th Anniversary of the Trip to the Moon.

One of humanity's greatest heroes (it had to be to travel to the Moon 50 years ago), he abandons us. There's only Buzz Aldrin left, who is now 91.

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