Columnist Leonard David

Petition to NASA: Name moon-orbiting space station after Apollo 11's Michael Collins

The Apollo 11 crew smiles in quarantine after their mission. From left, astronauts Neil Armstrong, Michael Collins and Buzz Aldrin.
The Apollo 11 crew smiles in quarantine after their mission. From left, astronauts Neil Armstrong, Michael Collins and Buzz Aldrin. (Image credit: NASA)

More than 13,700 people have signed a petition to NASA to name the space agency’s planned Lunar Gateway the Collins Lunar Gateway — a legacy tribute to Apollo 11 astronaut Michael Collins, who died on April 28 at the age of 90.

"The Lunar Gateway will be a space station in orbit around the moon that will provide staging for all future lunar astronauts in the Artemis program," explains the petition, which was posted on one day after Collins' death. "Before they descend to the surface of the moon, they will all pass through the Gateway."

Collins remained alone in lunar orbit for nearly 21.5 hours while his Apollo 11 crewmates Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin visited the moon’s surface. "He watched as his fellow astronauts descended onto the surface, just as many astronauts will do from the Gateway in the future," notes the petition.

"Those who seek to follow his path will be able to honor the legacy he left by living and passing through the Collins Lunar Gateway on the way to blaze their own trails and carry the fire," the petition concludes.

That phrasing is a reference to Collins' 1974 autobiography, "Carrying the Fire: An Astronaut's Journeys."

Leonard David is author of "Moon Rush: The New Space Race," which was published by National Geographic in May 2019. A longtime writer for, David has been reporting on the space industry for more than five decades. Follow us on Twitter @Spacedotcom and on Facebook. 

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Leonard David
Space Insider Columnist

Leonard David is an award-winning space journalist who has been reporting on space activities for more than 50 years. Currently writing as's Space Insider Columnist among his other projects, Leonard has authored numerous books on space exploration, Mars missions and more, with his latest being "Moon Rush: The New Space Race" published in 2019 by National Geographic. He also wrote "Mars: Our Future on the Red Planet" released in 2016 by National Geographic. Leonard  has served as a correspondent for SpaceNews, Scientific American and Aerospace America for the AIAA. He was received many awards, including the first Ordway Award for Sustained Excellence in Spaceflight History in 2015 at the AAS Wernher von Braun Memorial Symposium. You can find out Leonard's latest project at his website and on Twitter.