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Macmillan Childrens Publishing Group
Carrying the Fire

Carrying the Fire

An Astronaut's Journeys: 50th Anniversary Edition

Farrar, Straus and Giroux

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Reissued with a new preface by the author on the fiftieth anniversary of the Apollo 11 journey to the moon

The years that have passed since Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin, and Michael Collins piloted the Apollo 11 spacecraft to the moon in July 1969 have done nothing to alter the fundamental wonder of the event: man reaching the moon remains one of the great events—technical and spiritual—of our lifetime.

In Carrying the Fire, Collins conveys, in a very personal way, the drama, beauty, and humor of that adventure. He also traces his development from his first flight experiences in the Air Force, through his days as a test pilot, to his Apollo 11 space walk, presenting an evocative picture of the joys of flight as well as a new perspective on time, light, and movement from someone who has seen the fragile earth from the other side of the moon.

Praise for Carrying the Fire

“Collins tells what his space journeys meant to him as a human being [and] discusses the role of man amid the multitudinous mechanical marvels . . . Profoundly affecting.” —The New Yorker

“Michael Collins can write . . . No other person who has flown in space has captured the experience so vividly.” —Henry S.F. Cooper, Jr., The New York Times Book Review

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Reviews from Goodreads

Michael Collins (1930-2021) was an astronaut, one of 24 who have flown to the moon. A West Point graduate, he was an Air Force jet-fighter pilot and a test-pilot before being recruited by NASA in 1963 as a member of the third astronaut group selected for the Apollo moon project. Lieutenant Colonel Collins flew in the Gemini 10 space mission, orbiting the earth forty-three times in 1966, and piloted the Apollo 11 module for the 1969 lunar mission which put Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin on the moon’s surface.

After NASA, Collins became director of the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum, then under secretary of the Smithsonian Institution, and vice president of the LTV Aerospace and Defense Company. He held the rank of major general when he retired from the Air Force Reserve.


Collins recounted his experiences as an astronaut in the memoirs Carrying the Fire and Flying to the Moon.

image of Michael Collinso
Cat Vinton

Michael Collins

Farrar, Straus and Giroux

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