NASA will honor former astronaut Michael Collins for his involvement in the U.S. space program with the presentation of the Ambassador of Exploration Award at 11 a.m., Thursday, Feb. 9 at the Cradle of Aviation Museum Space Hall, One Davis Ave., Garden City, N.Y.

NASA is presenting the Ambassador of Exploration Award to the 38 astronauts who participated in the Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo space programs for realizing America’s vision of space exploration from 1961 to 1972. The award is a small sample of lunar material encased in Lucite and mounted for public display. The material is part of the 842 pounds of samples brought back to Earth during the six Apollo lunar expeditions from 1969 to 1972. Collins’ award will be displayed at the museum.

Collins was the pilot for the Gemini 10 mission in July 1996. He remained in lunar orbit as the command module pilot for Apollo 11 in July 1969, while crewmates Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin were the first humans to land on the moon’s surface during that historic mission.

For information about the museum and media access to the event, contact: Claudia Oakes at: (516) 572-0554.

For Collins’ astronaut biography on the Web, visit:

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