"The ultimate value of our lunar landing program cannot be outlined in detail at this time," writes the future Apollo 11 pilot, "just as it was impossible to foresee all the uses to which the Wright brothers' invention would be put"
Desirable ALS, one page, 8 x 10.5, NASA letterhead, May 21, 1964. Letter to J. Duane Upton, in part: "The ultimate value of our lunar landing program cannot be outlined in detail at this time, just as it was impossible to foresee all the uses to which the Wright brothers' invention would be put. Geologists and astronomers can furnish long lists of questions which they expect lunar exploration to answer, questions which are important in furthering man's knowledge of his origin and of the universe. I am glad that our country is continuing its pioneering tradition in pushing ahead with Project Apollo, and I think that history will prove it to be a wise decision." Includes a glossy 4 x 5 black and white formal portrait of Collins wearing a suit and tie, signed in autopen, with reverse stamped: "Michael Collins, Captain, USAF, NASA Astronaut." In overall fine condition. Accompanied by the original mailing envelope, addressed in Collins's own hand. Along with fellow Apollo 11 crew-member Buzz Aldrin, Collins was selected as a member of the third group of NASA astronauts in October 1963. After serving as the backup pilot for Gemini 7, Collins earned his first flight assignment as the pilot of Gemini 10, which launched on July 18, 1966. Some eight years after President Kennedy's call for 'landing a man on the moon,' Collins served as the Command Module Pilot of the Columbia, leaving Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin to land on the moon as he became the first to ever make a solo lunar orbit. Aboard the Columbia, Collins wrote in his log: 'I am alone now, truly alone, and absolutely isolated from any known life. I am it.' From The Bill Lende Collection.