Edward "Buzz" Aldrin, Jr.
"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."
"Buzz" Aldrin was born in Montclair, New Jersey on January 20, 1930. Buzz was educated at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, graduating third in his class with a B.S. 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-15s, and was decorated with the Distinguished Flying Cross. He earned 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. During the Gemini 12 orbital mission in 1966, Buzz performed a highly successful spacewalk and set an 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 epic endeavor as well as his recovery by the USS Hornet.
Upon returning from the moon, Buzz was decorated with the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest American peacetime award.
Since retiring from NASA and the Air Force, Dr. Aldrin has remained at the forefront of efforts to ensure America’s leadership in human space exploration. He devised a master plan for missions to Mars known as the “Aldrin Mars Cycler.” Dr. Aldrin has also received three U.S. patents for his schematics of a modular space station, reusable rockets, and multi-crew modules for spaceflight.
PLEASE NOTE: Dr. Aldrin will be autographing copies of his latest book, Mission to Mars: My Vision for Space Exploration, from 2:30pm–5:00pm. Books must be purchased at the USS Hornet Museum Ship’s Store to receive his signature. Advance orders are recommended to ensure receipt of a copy for the book signing.