A netizen asked Collins if he believes that there is "life outside of Earth" under the hashtag #AskMichaelCollins.
In a laconic but stunning answer, the veteran astronaut said: "Yes".
The answer resulted in a storm of tweets, with similar views suggesting that extraterrestrial life has evolved in other parts of our universe.
If you do, the I - kind of - have to too.— Anfinnur (@Anfinnur) August 27, 2019
On the other hand, it's highly unlikely that we're alone in the universe. There must be some other beings out there. Intelligent or not.
Given the literally billions of planets where life might be yes is the only possible answer. But has that life evolved into a species that has developed interstellar travel. Probably but no definitive answer yet.— Betty Cozatt (@BCozatt) August 27, 2019
Considering that the shear number if stars in a single galaxy is unfathomable to the mind and that planets orbiting those star outnumber those stars, I'm convinced that space is filled with life forms. They may be mostly slugs and dung beatles by they must be out there.— Brian Cornish (@BCornish60) August 27, 2019
It's a mathematical certainty. Of course there is life out there. The conundrum we face is distance.— Brian (@BrianSmith975) August 27, 2019
The NASA veteran played a critical role in the first manned Moon mission, alongside colleagues Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin. In July 1969, the astronaut flew the Command Module vehicle around the Moon while astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin landed on the surface for the first time in the history of humanity.
After retiring from NASA and the US Air Force as a major general in 1970, the former astronaut has been a vocal supporter of establishing a human presence on Mars.