iOS app Android app

Buzz Aldrin
GET UPDATES FROM Buzz Aldrin
 
Buzz Aldrin was born in Montclair, New Jersey on January 20, 1930. His mother, Marion Moon, was the daughter of an Army Chaplain. His father, Edwin Eugene Aldrin, was a Colonel in the Air Force, a ScD from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), and an aviation pioneer. Buzz was educated at the US Military Academy at West Point, graduating third in his class with a BS in mechanical engineering. He then joined the Air Force where he flew F86 Sabre Jets in 66 combat missions in Korea, shot down two MIG-15's, and was decorated with the Distinguished Flying Cross. After a tour of duty in Germany flying F100's, he went on to earn his Doctorate of Science in Astronautics at MIT and wrote his thesis on Manned Orbital Rendezvous.

Selected by NASA in 1963 into the third group of astronauts, Aldrin was the first with a doctorate and became known as "Dr. Rendezvous." 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. He also pioneered underwater training techniques, as a substitute for zero gravity flights, to simulate spacewalking. In 1966 on the Gemini 12 orbital mission, Buzz performed the world's first successful spacewalk, overcoming prior difficulties experienced by Americans and Russians during extra-vehicular activity (EVA), and setting a new EVA record of 5 ½ hours. On July 20, 1969, Buzz and Neil Armstrong made their historic Apollo 11 moonwalk, becoming the first two humans to set foot on another world. They spent 21 hours on the lunar surface and returned with 46 pounds of moon rocks. An estimated 600 million people – at that time, the world's largest television audience in history - witnessed this unprecedented heroic endeavor.

Upon returning from the moon, Buzz was decorated with the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest American peacetime award. A 45-day international goodwill tour followed, where he received numerous distinguished awards and medals from 23 other countries. Named after Buzz are Asteroid "6470 Aldrin" and the "Aldrin Crater" on the moon. Buzz and his Apollo 11 crew have four "stars" on each corner of Hollywood and Vine streets on the renowned Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Since retiring from NASA and the Air Force, Col. Aldrin has remained at the forefront of efforts to ensure America's continued leadership in human space exploration. He devised a master plan for missions to Mars known as the "Aldrin Mars Cycler" - a spacecraft system with perpetual cycling orbits between Earth and Mars. Dr. Aldrin has received three US patents for his schematics of a modular space station, Starbooster reusable rockets, and multi-crew modules for space flight. He founded Starcraft Boosters, Inc., a rocket design company, and the ShareSpace Foundation, a nonprofit devoted to advancing space education, exploration and affordable space flight experiences for all. In June of 2011 Buzz started a new company, Buzz Aldrin Enterprises, LLC to promote his brand and oversee all aspects of his public appearances, media, licensing, endorsements and efforts to promote the future of the space program.

Dr. Aldrin is an author of seven books including his New York Times best selling autobiography entitled, “Magnificent Desolation” which was released in 2009 just before the 40th Anniversary of the Apollo XI moon landing. He continues to inspire today's youth with his illustrated children's books: Reaching for the Moon, another New York Times best-seller, and Look to the Stars. He has also authored two space science-fact-fiction novels: The Return and Encounter with Tiber. His non-fiction works include the best-seller historical documentary, Men from Earth, and an early 1970's autobiography, Return to Earth.

As one of the leading space exploration advocates, Buzz continues to chart a course for future space travel from Planet Earth to the moon and on to the stars.

Blog Entries by Buzz Aldrin

American Space Exploration Leadership -- Why and How

1562 Comments | Posted January 5, 2012 | 00:00:00 (EST)

As we flip the calendar to 2012, we get the first blast of space news, and the resurgent relevance of human space exploration.  China just announced plans to lead humanity in to the moon and beyond, the tail of their comet a strong defense mindset.  The Chinese challenge comes at...

Read Post

In Memoriam -- A Rededication to Space

Posted January 28, 2011 | 14:07:43 (EST)

Statement on the 25th Anniversary of the Challenger Tragedy

As we reflect back upon the tragic loss of Challenger and her brave crew of heroes who were aboard that fateful day, I am reminded that they truly represented the best of us, as they climbed aloft on...

Read Post

The Way Forward: Achieving a Consensus on America's Future in Space

Posted July 19, 2010 | 16:44:46 (EST)

It is widely known that I support the President's new space agenda for civil space. I was proud to stand beside the President at the recent Space Summit, and to endorse his bold vision for space -- a vision that I believe will enable us to maintain our pioneering leadership...

Read Post

Why We Should Keep Flying the Space Shuttle

Posted March 18, 2010 | 14:11:01 (EST)

Instead of planning the retirement of the Space Shuttle program, America should be preparing the shuttles for their next step in space: evolving, not shutting them down and laying off thousands of people. You know the very people whose experience we will need in the years ahead. Except if you...

Read Post

Spaceships Worthy of the Name

Posted February 23, 2010 | 14:08:10 (EST)

In this blog I'm going to talk about what NASA needs to do once Congress has passed President Obama's new budget that starts on October 1st. Although I spent most of last year speaking about these concepts, they may be new to some readers - and they have even greater...

Read Post

President Obama's JFK Moment

Posted February 3, 2010 | 20:49:54 (EST)

Thank you, Mr. President.

That's what we should say to President Barack Obama in light of his Fiscal Year 2011 space budget for NASA. The President courageously decided to redirect our nation's space policy away from the foolish and underfunded Moon race that has consumed NASA for more than six...

Read Post

In Search of a Real Spaceship

Posted November 25, 2009 | 17:33:32 (EST)


Imagine this scenario: you are a tourist coming home from a special vacation jaunt. Or maybe you're a researcher headed home from an assignment at a national laboratory. But instead of a nice gentle landing at an airport, you plunge into the cold waters of the Atlantic Ocean,...

Read Post

Why We Need Better Rockets

Posted November 9, 2009 | 16:56:03 (EST)

Well, it looked spectacular.

I'm referring to NASA's recent launch of the Ares 1-X, billed as the prototype of the Ares 1 as a crew launch vehicle, a fancy term for a manned space booster. The rocket is said to have performed as planned, and ushered in the era...

Read Post

Mr. President, Will You Lead Us to Greatness in Space?

Posted October 21, 2009 | 16:36:16 (EST)

The roadmap is now complete. Today the commission formed to provide President Barack Obama with a series of potential pathways to America's future in space has delivered its final report. Officials in the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP, as they say in Washington) received the report...

Read Post

A Different Kind of Moon Race

Posted October 12, 2009 | 17:00:11 (EST)

A quarter of a million miles from where you are reading these words, on the dusty surface of our companion Moon, lies the best chance in decades for America to reestablish itself as a global space leader. It is time for our country to foster a new Moon race --...

Read Post