Die Paranoia und Einsamkeit des dritten Apollo XI-Astronauten Michael Collins

Der Guardian hat die spannende Story über die Paranoia und Einsamkeit von Michael Collins, dem Astronauten, der im Columbia-Spaceship zurückblieb und einmal den Mond umkreiste, während Neil Armstrong und Buzz Aldrin mit dem Eagle auf dem Mond landeten.

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"My secret terror for the last six months has been leaving them on the Moon and returning to Earth alone; now I am within minutes of finding out the truth of the matter," he wrote. "If they fail to rise from the surface, or crash back into it, I am not going to commit suicide; I am coming home, forthwith, but I will be a marked man for life and I know it." [...]

Apollo 11 consisted of a spindly lunar lander, Eagle, and an orbiting mothership, Columbia, that were both blasted into space on a giant Saturn V rocket on 16 July 1969. For three days, Armstrong, Aldrin and Collins cruised towards the Moon inside Columbia and spent their time gazing "out the window at the Earth getting smaller and smaller and checking the spacecraft", according to Aldrin.

Then, on 20 July, Armstrong and Aldrin crawled into Eagle and flew it down to the Moon's surface. "Keep talking to me, guys," radioed an initially panicky Collins as the pair drifted away from his ship.

Minutes later, Columbia swept behind the Moon and Collins became Earth's most distant solo traveller, separated from the rest of humanity by 250,000 miles of space and by the bulk of the Moon, which blocked all radio transmissions to and from mission control. He was out of sight and out of contact with his home planet.

"I am now truly alone and absolutely alone from any known life. I am it," he wrote in his capsule.

How Michael Collins became the forgotten astronaut of Apollo 11 (via Reddit)