Apollo 11 astronaut Michael Collins dead at 90

(Ed: – Collins a quiet man with the Right Stuff. May 5th is 60 years since Alan Shepherd became the first American in space – so space is in the air.)

By Julia Musto | Fox News

Apollo 11 astronauts Neil Armstrong, Michael Collins and Buzz Aldrin pose with their Saturn V in the background in this NASA handout photo dated May 20, 1969. REUTERS/NASA/Handout

NASA astronaut Michael Collins died Wednesday at age 90 after a battle with cancer.

Collins flew as one of the three crew members on the famous Apollo 11 mission in July 1969.

"We regret to share that our beloved father and grandfather passed away today, after a valiant battle with cancer. He spent his final days peacefully, with his family by his side," Collins' family wrote in a statement on Twitter. "Mike always faced the challenges of life with grace and humility, and faced this, his final challenge, in the same way.

"We will miss him terribly. Yet we also know how lucky Mike felt to have lived the life he did. We will honor his wish for us to celebrate, not mourn, that life," they continued. "Please join us in fondly and joyfully remembering his sharp wit, his quiet sense of purpose, and his wise perspective, gained both from looking back at Earth from the vantage of space and gazing across calm waters from the deck of his fishing boat."

The family also asked for privacy and promised details on services would be forthcoming.

Collins, who was born in Rome, Italy, where his father served as a major general in the U.S. Army.