Here is the biography of Buzz Aldrin, one of the first men to set foot on the Moon participating in the Apollo 11 Mission, and some indiscretions about his life.
When we think of the Universe and its incredible immensity, human beings appear as grains of dust on a small planet of "recent formation" when compared to the origin of the Universe. Yet, to paraphrase the philosopher Bertrand Russell, the more we become aware of our smallness and powerlessness in the face of cosmic forces, the more incredible it seems that human beings have achieved. What a feeling, to look at the horizon savoring all the limitation of the world, to observe the sky from down here, knowing that there are those who have crossed the earth's boundary in space orbit.
The apex of a longed-for dream, that of landing on the Moon, was reached with the Apollo 11 mission in 1969 on live television, stopping the world, enchanted by the famous phrase pronounced for the occasion by Neil Armstrong "One small step for [a] man, one giant leap for mankind". Buzz Aldrin was one of the first men to walk on the moon with Armstrong and the only astronaut still alive from the famous mission.
Buzz Aldrin: his biography
Buzz Aldrin was born in 1930 and grew up in Montclair, New Jersey. His mother was the daughter of an Army chaplain and his father Edwin Eugene Aldrin was an aviation pioneer. Buzz graduated a year early from Montclair High School and attended the United States Military Academy at West Point, graduating third in his class with a degree in mechanical engineering. He then joined the Air Force where he flew the F86 Sabre Jet on 66 combat missions in Korea, shot down two MIG-15s and was decorated with the Distinguished Flying Cross.
After a stint in Germany, flying F100s, he earned his doctorate in Astronautics from MIT and wrote his thesis on Line-of-Sight Guidance Techniques for Manned Orbital Rendezvous. As the engineer-astronaut Howard teaches in the famous sitcom The Big Bang Theory, in which Buzz Aldrin participated as a guest star in 2012, many astronauts in their space missions have a nickname given by the rest of the crew and Aldrin's was just "Dr. Rendezvous". In the 1960s Aldrin was selected by NASA, becoming the first astronaut with a doctorate.
The docking and rendezvous techniques he devised for spacecraft in Earth and lunar orbit became critical to the success of the Gemini and Apollo programs and are still used today. Buzz Aldrin also pioneered underwater training techniques to simulate spacewalks. In 1966, during the Gemini 12 orbital mission, Buzz performed the world's first successful spacewalk. And it was there that he took the first selfie in space. After all, what better setting to immortalize?
Buzz Aldrin and the Apollo 11 Mission
On July 20, 1969, Buzz Aldrin and Neil Armstrong made their historic moonwalk on the famed Apollo 11 space mission, becoming the first two humans to set, literally, foot on another world. An estimated 600 million people at the time, the largest television audience in the world in history, witnessed this unprecedented heroic feat. As is well known, Armstrong was the first to step onto the lunar soil, six hours after the moon landing. About 19 minutes later, it was Aldrin's turn. The two astronauts spent about two and a half hours outside the spacecraft, collecting 21.5 kilograms of lunar material to bring back to Earth.
The third member of the mission, Michael Collins, command module pilot, was in lunar orbit while the other two were on the surface. The mission ended July 24 with a ditching in the Pacific Ocean. But the thrill of seeing the first men to plow the Moon will forever remain alive in the soul of every human being on Earth. Since retiring from NASA and the U.S. Air Force, Colonel Buzz Aldrin has remained a tireless advocate for human space exploration.
Buzz Aldrin: some interesting facts
Among the most famous objects that have crossed space arriving on the Moon is Buzz Aldrin's famous watch, an Omega Speedmaster model that the astronaut brought with him on the Mission. It was the only wristwatch that managed to pass the stringent tests performed by NASA to provide the Apollo 11 crew with a space-safe chronograph. Only Aldrin wore it during the moonwalk, as Armstrong's was left aboard the lunar landing module after the onboard chronometer broke.
But did Buzz Aldrin really see aliens? In 2018, the astronaut is back in the news for some claims that he saw UFOs during the Apollo 11 mission. Statements that would have been subjected to a lie detector test and confirmed. It is, however, a study carried out by scientists with little credibility in the academic context and without reliable sources. According to the tabloid Daily Star, Buzz Aldrin would have told of having seen during the moon landing "something strange, close enough to be observed, shaped like an L". But Aldrin himself had described the phenomenon as an optical effect produced by reflected light.