Buzz Aldrin

Buzz Aldrin
Aldrin posing in his spacesuit
Aldrin in April 1969
Born
Edwin Eugene Aldrin Jr.

(1930-01-20) January 20, 1930 (age 89)
StatusRetired
NationalityAmerican
Other namesDr. Rendezvous
Alma materUnited States Military Academy, B.S. 1951
Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Sc.D. 1963
OccupationFighter pilot
AwardsAir Force Distinguished Service Medal (2)
Distinguished Flying Cross (2)
Air Medal (3)
Presidential Medal of Freedom
NASA Distinguished Service Medal
NASA Exceptional Service Medal
Space career
NASA astronaut
RankUS-O6 insignia.svg Colonel, United States Air Force
Time in space
12 days 1 hour and 53 minutes
SelectionNASA Astronaut Group 3
Total EVAs
4
Total EVA time
7 hours 52 minutes
MissionsGemini 12, Apollo 11
Mission insignia
Gemini 12 insignia.png Apollo 11 insignia.png
RetirementJuly 1, 1971
Spouse(s)
Joan Ann Archer
(m. 1954; div. 1974)

Beverly Van Zile
(m. 1975; div. 1978)

Lois Driggs Cannon
(m. 1988; div. 2012)
Children3
Websitewww.buzzaldrin.com
Signature
Buzz Aldrin Autograph.svg

Buzz Aldrin (n/; born Edwin Eugene Aldrin Jr.; January 20, 1930) is an American engineer and a former astronaut and fighter pilot. As the Apollo Lunar Module pilot on the Apollo 11 mission, he and mission commander Neil Armstrong were the first two humans to land on the Moon.

Born in Glen Ridge, New Jersey, Aldrin graduated third in his United States Military Academy at West Point class in 1951, with a degree in mechanical engineering. He was commissioned into the United States Air Force, and served as a jet fighter pilot during the Korean War. He flew 66 combat missions and shot down two MiG-15 aircraft.

After earning a Sc.D. degree in astronautics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Aldrin was selected as a member of NASA's Astronaut Group 3, making him the first astronaut with a doctoral degree. His doctoral thesis was Line-of-Sight Guidance Techniques for Manned Orbital Rendezvous, earning him the nickname "Dr. Rendezvous" from fellow astronauts. His first space flight was in 1966 on Gemini 12 during which he spent over five hours on extravehicular activity. Three years later, Aldrin set foot on the Moon at 03:15:16 on July 21, 1969 (UTC), nineteen minutes after Armstrong first touched the surface, while Command Module Pilot Michael Collins remained in lunar orbit. A Presbyterian elder, Aldrin became the first person to hold a religious ceremony on the Moon when he privately took communion.

Upon leaving NASA in 1971, he became Commandant of the U.S. Air Force Test Pilot School. He retired from the Air Force in 1972, after 21 years of service. His autobiographies Return to Earth, (1973) and Magnificent Desolation (2009), recount his struggles with clinical depression and alcoholism in the years after leaving NASA. He continued to advocate for space exploration, particularly a human mission to Mars, and developed the Aldrin cycler, a special spacecraft trajectory that makes travel to Mars possible using less time and propellant. He has been accorded numerous honors, including the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1969, and is listed in several Halls of Fame.

Early life

Edwin Eugene Aldrin Jr. was born on January 20, 1930, at Mountainside Hospital in Glen Ridge, New Jersey.[1] His parents, Edwin Eugene Aldrin Sr. and Marion Aldrin (née Moon), lived in neighboring Montclair, New Jersey.[2] His father was an Army aviator during World War I and the assistant commandant of the Army's test pilot school at McCook Field, Ohio, from 1919 to 1922, but left the Army in 1928 and became an executive at Standard Oil.[3] Aldrin had two siblings, both sisters: Madeleine, who was four years older, and Fay Ann, who was a year and a half older.[4] His nickname, which became his legal first name in 1988,[5][6] arose as a result of Fay's mispronouncing "brother" as "buzzer", which was then shortened to "Buzz".[4][7] He was a Boy Scout, with the rank of Tenderfoot Scout.[8]

Aldrin did well in school, maintaining an A average.[9] He played football and was the starting center for Montclair High School's undefeated 1946 state champion team.[10][11] His father wanted him to go to the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland and enrolled him at nearby Severn School, a preparatory school for Annapolis and even secured him an appointment from Albert W. Hawkes, one of the United States Senators from New Jersey.[12] Aldrin attended Severn School in 1946,[13] but had other ideas about his future career. He suffered from seasickness and considered ships a distraction from flying airplanes. He faced down his father and told him to ask Hawkes to change the nomination to the United States Military Academy at West Point, New York.[12]

Aldrin entered West Point in 1947.[5] He did well academically, finishing first in his class his plebe (first) year.[9] He was a member of the academy track and field team.[14] In 1950 he traveled with a group of West Point cadets to Japan and the Philippines to study the military government policies of Douglas MacArthur.[15] During his trip, the Korean War broke out.[16] On June 5, 1951, he graduated third in the class of 1951 with a Bachelor of Science degree.[17]

Other Languages
Afrikaans: Buzz Aldrin
العربية: بز ألدرن
aragonés: Buzz Aldrin
asturianu: Edwin E. Aldrin
تۆرکجه: باز آلدرین
Bân-lâm-gú: Buzz Aldrin
беларуская: Баз Олдрын
български: Едуин Олдрин
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oʻzbekcha/ўзбекча: Oldrin Edvin
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Piemontèis: Edwin Aldrin
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polski: Buzz Aldrin
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română: Buzz Aldrin
русский: Олдрин, Базз
sicilianu: Buzz Aldrin
Simple English: Buzz Aldrin
slovenčina: Buzz Aldrin
slovenščina: Edwin Aldrin
српски / srpski: Баз Олдрин
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svenska: Buzz Aldrin
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ייִדיש: באז אלדרין
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粵語: 艾德靈