NASA’s Moonwalkers — Buzz Aldrin

Buzz Aldrin is a legendary figure in space exploration. He was the second man to step foot on the Moon and stars in many of the photographs taken during the first Moon landing.

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Before NASA, Aldrin completed a highly-decorated military career in the United States Air Force. Specializing as a fighter pilot he completed 66 combat missions during the Korean War, shooting down two Soviet-made MiG-15 aircraft. Incredible gun camera footage captured by Aldrin’s jet shows the opposing pilot ejecting from his doomed aircraft.

Aldrin’s Gun Camera Footage

In 1963, Aldrin was selected to be part of NASA’s Astronaut Group 3. He became the first astronaut to hold a doctoral degree and this, combined with his knowledge of orbital mechanics earned him another nickname — “Dr. Rendezvous”.

After completing the successful Gemini 12 mission in which he performed three extravehicular activities and took the first ever “space selfie”, Aldrin embarked on Apollo 11’s mission to the Moon alongside Neil Armstrong and Michael Collins. Although it was Armstrong who set foot on the lunar surface first, Aldrin features in most of the photographs. To this day they are the only portraits of a human on another world!

Aldrin’s “Space Selfie”

However, Aldrin does have a first of his own. He is the only person to hold a religious ceremony on the Moon. Using a kit provided by his Pastor, Aldrin took communion and read a passage of the Bible. The event was completed in secret to avoid a lawsuit similar to the one brought against the United States government for a biblical reading produced by the Apollo 8 crew.

Following the historic moonwalk, Aldrin and Armstrong discovered a problem that would jeopardize their return to Earth. Whilst preparing their lunar module for return to command, Aldrin discovered a circuit breaker switch had broken off the instrument panel. After a sleepless night aboard the module, NASA had been unable to find a solution. Enter Buzz Aldrin’s felt-tipped pen! In his own words “I inserted the pen into the small opening where the circuit breaker switch should have been, and pushed it in; sure enough, the circuit breaker held. We were going to get off the moon, after all. To this day I still have the broken circuit breaker switch and the felt-tipped pen I used to ignite our engines.”

Thanks to Aldrin’s heroics with his trusty pen, complete disaster was avoided. If the circuit breaker had remained stuck, the module and its famous passengers would have remained stranded on the surface of the Moon!

Aldrin Wears Three Omega Watches and Rings Commemorating the Apollo Missions

Even after his career as an astronaut ended, Aldrin continued to push his limits. Without doubt, he is one of the most well-traveled humans in history and has visited some of the most extreme places on Earth. In addition to conquering both the North and South Poles, Aldrin also visited the site of the sunken Titanic, 12,500 feet below the surface of the North Atlantic Ocean!

Now 92, Aldrin’s has been a life well lived! A genuine space rockstar — he even collaborated with hip-hop legends Snoop Dogg and Talib Kweli on the song “Rocket Experience”!

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