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Home / Science / The astronaut who took this picture is the only person who ever existed and is out of frame

The astronaut who took this picture is the only person who ever existed and is out of frame

There are photos that are simply mind-blowing and breathtaking, and some that capture the moments we shed a tear from.

One such photograph is the Lunar Module Eagle who was captured on his return the command module from the surface of the Moon on July 21, 1969. In the background are the Moon and the Earth.

The law of mass conservation of classical physics claims that matter can not be produced or destroyed in isolated physical systems. but it can change from one form to another. According to this law, the material that makes up each person is dead, alive, or still born in the frame of this photograph.

American flag on the moon. Photo by Project Apollo Archive CC BY 2.0

Even if you were not born at this time, you are in this photo because the matter that eventually became you was already on Earth. Everybody is. Apart from one person – the astronaut Michael Collins, the man behind the camera.

Collins is the third and largely forgotten crew member of the Apollo 11 mission who has not entered the Moon.

While the world praised astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin for the American flag, Collins was alone out there circling the moon in the command module. He feared that if something went wrong, he would have to leave his astronauts behind and return to Earth himself as a "marked man".

Left to right: Neil Armstrong, Michael Collins, Buzz Aldrin

Collins did not hide his fears, the Guardian says. At that time, he wrote: "My secret horror of the past six months has left them alone on the moon."

The memory continues, "If they fail To rise from the surface, or I will not commit suicide again. I'll come home right away, but I'll be a handsome man for life, and I know it. "

And it was not just him. Everyone was aware that the chances of a safe return to Earth were 50-50. Even President Nixon had a prepared speech for the possible failure of the Eagle

. While Armstrong and Aldrin were traveling to the lunar surface in the Eagle Collins waited in the mothership. Columbia almost 24 hours after her return . On the descent, worried Collins repeated to them, "Keep talking to me, boys."

Collins prepares for the Apollo 11 flight

The contact with his home planet was cut off as his vehicle passed behind the plane Moon, Collins tells his thoughts during this experience: "I am alone, really alone and alone absolutely isolated from any known life. It's me. If a count were made, it would be three billion plus two on the other side of the moon, and one plus god knows what's on that side.

When asked what he thought of in the lunar orbit during Aldrin and Neil Armstrong Down to the moon, Collins whimpered: "I've always remembered that every single component of this spaceship was provided by the man who submitted the cheapest tender. "

Michael Collins, February 2009

Despite their seeming calm, all who participated in the program feared that the mission could end in disaster. And that fear was a constant companion of the three astronauts on their 240,000-mile journey.

Read another story from us: Three Men sued NASA for attacking Mars

Luckily, everything ended in triumph. And though the name Michael Collins does not ring the bell for most people, he never felt distanced from the Apollo 11 mission. In one of his earlier remarks, Collins said, "This venture is structured for three men, and I consider my third as necessary as the other two."

"HAPPily put on my tombstone," said Collins NASA interviewer in 2009.

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