Apollo 11 Astronaut Michael Collins Dead At 90, Family Says

(Photo credit ERIC BARADAT/AFP via Getty Images)

Font Size:

Apollo 11 astronaut Michael Collins died from cancer at age 90, his family said in a statement.

The family shared the news Tuesday on the astronaut’s Twitter page.

“We regret to share that our beloved father and grandfather passed away today, after a valiant battle with cancer,” the family said in the statement. “He spent his final days peacefully, with his family by his side.”

“Mike always faced the challenges of life with grace and humility, and faced with this, his final challenge, in the same way,” the statement continued. “Yet we also know how lucky Mike felt to have lived the life he did. We will honor his wish for us to celebrate, not mourn, that life. 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 joined Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin during the Apollo 11 trip that first landed Americans on the moon. He is often referred to as the “forgotten astronaut” since he commanded the module while Aldrin and Armstrong walked on the moon, according to NPR. (RELATED: Nixon Had A Speech Prepared In Case Apollo 11 Turned Deadly, Read It Here)

The family asked for privacy and said details regarding his funeral service would follow.