Michael Collins, who piloted the Apollo 11 command module, has died

Three astronauts are the happiest men in history.

Enlarge / Neil Armstrong, Michael Collins, and Buzz Aldrin Jr. are seen in quarantine, after the Apollo 11 mission. (credit: NASA)

Michael Collins—a two-time astronaut who piloted the command module during the historic Apollo 11 mission that landed the first humans on the Moon—died on Wednesday after battling cancer, his family said. He was 90 years old.

“He spent his final days peacefully, with his family by his side,” the family said in a statement. “Mike always faced the challenges of life with grace and humility, and faced this, his final challenge, in the same way. We will miss him terribly.”

With Collins’ death, only 10 of the 24 humans who have flown into deep space remain alive: Collins’ colleague on the Apollo 11 mission, Buzz Aldrin, as well as Bill Anders, Frank Borman, Charlie Duke, Fred Haise, Jim Lovell, Ken Mattingly, Harrison Schmitt, David Scott, and Tom Stafford.

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