Michael Collins (1930 - 2021) was an American astronaut and Command Module Pilot of Apollo 11, the historic NASA mission which took the first men, Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin, to the moon on 20th July 1969.
Michael Collins' personal NASA flight suit, worn upon his return to Earth following the Apollo 11 mission in July 1969.
Removed from his personal locker just six months after the historic flight following his retirement from NASA in January 1970.
The sky blue heavy cotton flight suit bears the Flite Wear label of the manufacturers Land Mfg. Co. of Wichita, Kansas, official suppliers to NASA, and has numerous zipped pockets, snap pockets and Velcro patches (one of which, on the chest, would have originally carried Michael Collins' name tag).
The suit also features an embroidered NASA logo patch known as the 'Meatball' vector patch. This example, identifiable by its design, is known by collectors as a 'Type V' patch, which were used circa 1969 – 1972.
These patches were worn by the Apollo 13, 16 and 17 crews on their post-flight jump suits, and by the Apollo 11 crew on their Biological Isolation Garments.
The suit is in very good condition, with some light signs of wear and a few very light, minor stains at the base of the legs.
The flight suit originates from the collection of Joe Garino, former NASA Director of Astronaut Physical Conditioning.
Garino was responsible for the physical fitness of astronauts in the Mercury, Gemini and Apollo programmes, including the crew of Apollo 11.
He was highly respected by the astronauts he worked with, and built a superb collection of memorabilia during his NASA career.
The suit is accompanied by a 2008 letter of authenticity signed by Garino, which reads in full:
"Michael Collins Worn Apollo XI Flight Suit. Blue NASA Flight suit worn by Michael Collins after his recovery from the Apollo XI mission. Contains the sewn in NASA patch but missing the velcro name tag. Manufacturer tag states 'Flite Wear,' by Land Mfg. Co. Wichita, Kansas.
"This Flight suit was obtained by me when I was asked to clean out Michael Collins NASA locker upon his retirement from NASA and I was told I could keep it by Gordon Cooper.
"I hereby certify that the item or items described above were obtained by me during my years of association with the American Space exploration program. [signed] Joe Garino Jr".
An exceptionally rare and historically significant item, with a direct link to the Apollo 11 Moon landing.
The majority of space suits and flight suits worn by Armstrong, Aldrin and Collins are owned by the Smithsonian Museum.
As such, this is one of the very few examples in private hands still available to collectors.
A truly world-class piece of space and aviation history.
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