Accidental Journey
A Farmer's Almanac
Surface of
... Last Scatter
Song of Childhood
... Kilometres






    The letter and a set of Apollo 11 commemorative postcards (Michael Collins is pictured on the right)
[Photographs | Tim O'Riley]
[click on the images to see more]

I had written to Michael Collins a couple of times, care of NASA and one of the recent publishers of his autobiography but I am not entirely sure these letters ever reached him. My final, last-ditch attempt to contact the former astronaut, however, met with success and as I was finalising work on this book I unexpectedly received a brief but gracious note from him, written in the margin of my original letter. Putting my surprise and excitement to one side, I read with amusement and something akin to relief that he was unable to recall the Irish flag or illuminate its journey to Dublin by way of the moon. Its provenance remains unknown, to me at least, and I have no plans to disturb this uncertainty.

Michael Collins was born in Rome on 31st October, 1930, the son of James Lawton Collins, a Major General in the United States Army. Before becoming an astronaut, he served as a fighter pilot and test pilot in the United States Air Force. Collins is now retired and apparently lives for some of the year in that same region of the United States where the Wright brothers first took to the air.