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Buzz Aldrin (/ˈɔːldrɪn/; born Edwin Eugene Aldrin Jr.; January 20, 1930) is an American former astronaut, engineer and fighter pilot. He made three spacewalks as pilot of the 1966 Gemini 12 mission, and, as Lunar Module Eagle pilot on the 1969 Apollo 11 mission, he and mission commander Neil Armstrong were the first two people to land on the Moon. He is the last surviving crew member of Apollo 11.
Born in Glen Ridge, New Jersey, Aldrin graduated third in the class of 1951 from the United States Military Academy at West Point, with a degree in mechanical engineering. He flew 66 combat missions and shot down two MiG-15 aircraft.
After earning a Doctor of Science degree in astronautics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology,
Aldrin was selected as a member of NASA’s Astronaut Group 3
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.
the first person to hold a religious ceremony on the Moon
A Presbyterian elder, Aldrin became the first person to hold a religious ceremony on the Moon when he privately took communion. Apollo 11 effectively proved US victory in the Space Race, by fulfilling a national goal proposed in 1961 by President John F. Kennedy “of landing a man on the Moon and returning him safely to the Earth” before the end of the decade.
Upon leaving NASA in 1971, Aldrin 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 continues to advocate for space exploration,
Gemini 12 was the tenth and final flight of the Gemini series, which bridged the Mercury and Apollo programs. This mission, carrying astronauts Jim Lovell and Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin,
to conduct a tethered stationkeeping exercise,
to perform docked maneuvers using the Agena propulsion system to change orbit, and demonstrate an automatic reentry.
There were also 14 scientific, medical, and technological experiments on board.
Apollo 11 was the culmination of the Apollo program and a massive national commitment by the United States to beat the Soviet Union in putting people on the Moon.
From the time of its launch
From the time of its launch on July 16, 1969, until the return splashdown on July 24, almost every major aspect of the flight of Apollo 11 was witnessed via television by hundreds of millions of people in nearly every part of the globe.
The pulse of humanity rose with the giant, 111-metre- (363-foot-) high, 3,038,500-kg (6,698,700-pound) Saturn V launch vehicle as it made its flawless flight from Pad 39A at Cape Kennedy (now Cape Canaveral), Florida,
before hundreds of thousands of spectators.
So accurate was the translunar insertion that three of the en route trajectory corrections planned were not necessary. Aboard Apollo 11 were Armstrong, Aldrin, and command module pilot Michael Collins.
Their enthusiasm was evident from the beginning, as Armstrong exclaimed, “This Saturn gave us a magnificent ride.…It was beautiful!”
The third stage of the Saturn
The third stage of the Saturn then fired to start the crew on their 376,400-km (234,000-mile) journey to the Moon. The three astronauts conducted their transposition and docking maneuvers, first turning the command module, Columbia, and its attached service module around and then extracting the lunar module from its resting place above the Saturn’s third stage.On the morning of July 20
On the morning of July 20, Armstrong and Aldrin crawled from the command module through an interconnecting tunnel into the lunar module, Eagle. Toward the end of the 12th lunar orbit, the Apollo 11 spacecraft became two separate spacecraft: Columbia, piloted by Collins, and Eagle, occupied by Armstrong and Aldrin.
Armstrong hovered Eagle
For about a minute and a half,
Armstrong hovered Eagle, moving it laterally with the reaction control system until he found a clear area on which to descend. Then the contact light went on inside the cockpit, as the 172-cm (68-inch) probes dangling below Eagle’s footpads signaled contact with the ground.
Armstrong then radioed at 4:17 PM U.S. Eastern Daylight Time (EDT), “Houston, Tranquility Base here. The Eagle has landed.” Eagle had touched down in the Sea of Tranquility,
an area selected for its level and smooth terrain.
That’s one small step for [a] man, one giant leap for mankind
At 10:56 PM EDT on July 20, Armstrong stepped out onto the lunar soil with the words, “That’s one small step for [a] man, one giant leap for mankind.” (In the excitement of the moment, Armstrong skipped the “a” in the statement that he had prepared.)
During their moon walk
During their moon walk of more than two hours, Armstrong and Aldrin set up a device to measure the composition of the solar wind reaching the Moon, a device to receive laser beams from astronomical observatories on Earth to determine the exact distance of the two bodies from one another, and a passive seismometer to measure moonquakes and meteor impacts long after the astronauts had returned home.
They also took about 23 kg (50 pounds) of rock and soil samples, took many photographs, and maintained constant communication with mission control in Houston, Texas.
After 21 hours 38 minutes on the Moon’s surface, the astronauts used Eagle’s ascent stage to launch it back into lunar orbit. After various maneuvers, Eagle once again docked with Collins in Columbia,
and the trip back to Earth began soon afterward.
Splashdown of Apollo 11 occurred in the Pacific Ocean
Splashdown of Apollo 11 occurred in the Pacific Ocean about 1,400 km (900 miles) west of Hawaii on July 24. The astronauts were immediately placed in quarantine in a van on the recovery ship.
From there they were flown to the Manned Spacecraft Center in Houston,
where they were transferred into the large, 58-room Lunar Receiving Laboratory.
The quarantine lasted 21 days from the time Eagle took off from the Moon;
The organization is composed of four mission directorates
Aeronautics Research, for the development of advanced aviation technologies; Science, dealing with programs for understanding the origin, structure, and evolution of the universe, the solar system, and Earth; Space Technology, for the development of space science and exploration technologies; elated to launch services, space transportation,
and space communications for both crewed and robotic exploration programs.
the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California; the Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas; and the Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia. Headquarters of NASA are in Washington, D.C.
NASA was created largely in response to the Soviet launching of Sputnik in 1957
NASA was created largely in response to the Soviet launching of Sputnik in 1957.
It was organized around the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA), which had been created by Congress in 1915. NASA’s organization was well under way by the early years of Pres. John F. Kennedy’s administration when he proposed that the United States put a man on the Moon by the end of the 1960s.
NASA was also responsible for the development and launching of a number of satellites with Earth applications, such as Landsat, a series of satellites designed to collect information on natural resources and other Earth features; communications satellites; and weather satellites.
Michael Collins, ‘Third Man’ of the Moon Landing, Dies at 90
Orbiting dozens of miles above the lunar surface, he kept solitary watch of the Apollo command module as Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin embarked for the moon.
Buzz Aldrin, became the first men to walk on the lunar surface, died on Wednesday at a hospice facility in Naples, Fla. He was 90.
A statement released by Mr. Collins’s family on Twitter said the cause was cancer.
It was an epic moment of exploration,
an instant when the fantasy of science fiction writers became a reality however when it transpired, Lt. Col. Michael Collins of the Air Force was the loneliest man in history.
“I am alone now, truly alone,
and absolutely isolated from any known life,” he wrote in recreating his thoughts for his 1974 memoir, “Carrying the Fire.”