- from Explorers
Out of 300 applicants, three were chosen to fly the Apollo 11 mission to the Moon. Mike Collins, an Air Force pilot, passed the grueling physical, psychological, and mechanical tests. He was named pilot of the spaceship.
Preparation for traveling to the Moon was intense. Collins practiced flight operations in a simulator (a model of the actual rocket). He had to know every technical detail and understand every aspect of the spaceship’s performance. Men’s lives would be in his hands! As pilot, Collins was at the helm of the spaceship. He circled the Moon alone while his fellow astronauts, Neil A. Armstrong and Edwin E. “Buzz” Aldrin Jr., became the first humans to step onto the lunar surface. The three men accomplished “a record that no one could better”—they were the first!