NASA's pioneering astronauts: Where are they now? (+video)
Neil Armstrong, the first man on the moon, was one of 300 astronauts. What became of some of the more famous ones?
As space exploration has become more common and the number of astronauts has risen past 300, many names have faded into the background. But some will forever be associated with the golden age of space exploration. Some examples:
From 1969's Apollo 11, the first manned moon landing mission:
— Buzz Aldrin: Lunar module pilot for Apollo 11. Second man on the moon after commander Neil Armstrong. Left NASA in in 1971 and returned to Air Force. Wrote several books including "Return to Earth" and "Men from Earth." Advocate for future U.S. space exploration and frequent lecturer. Age: 82.
— Neil Armstrong: Commander of Apollo 11 mission and first human to set foot on the moon. Left NASA in 1971, taught engineering at the University of Cincinnati, and later became chairman of electronic systems companies. Died Aug. 25 at age 82.
— Michael Collins: Command module pilot on Apollo 11 and circled the moon while colleagues Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin landed. Left NASA in 1970 and became first director of the Smithsonian Institution's National Air and Space Museum in Washington. Wrote "Carrying the Fire," considered one of the best insider space books. Age: 81.