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Edwin Eugene (Buzz) Aldrin Jr Status: Inactive. Trained as: Astronaut. Profession: Pilot. Sex: Male. Marital Status: Married. Children: Three. Birth Date: 20 January 1930. Birth City: Glen Ridge. Birth State: New Jersey. Birth Country: USA. Nationality: American. Group: 1963 NASA Group. Date Selected: 17 October 1963. Departed: 1972. Number of Flights: 2. Total Time: 12.08 days. Number of EVAs: 5. Total EVA Time: 8.52 hours.

NAME: Buzz Aldrin

BIRTHPLACE AND DATE: Aldrin was born Jan. 20, 1930, in Montclair, N.J.

EDUCATION: Aldrin received a Bachelor of Science degree from the U. S. Military Academy in 1951, graduating third in his class. In 1961-1962 he attended Massachusetts Institute of Technology where he received a Doctorate of Science with the thesis "Guidance for Manned Orbital Rendezvous".

EXPERIENCE: Aldrin entered the Air Force and earned his pilot wings in 1952. As an F-86 fighter pilot in Korea he flew 66 combat missions and destroyed two MIG-15 aircraft. He later served as an aerial gunner instructor at Nellis Air Force Base in Nevada, as aide to the dean of faculty at the Air Force Academy, and with an F-100 squadron in Germany. Following his studies at MIT, Aldrin was assigned to the Gemini Target Office of the Air Force Systems Command in Los Angeles.

Aldrin was selected as an astronaut by NASA in 1963. The concept of space rendezvous he formulated at MIT was selected and modified for all NASA rendezvous missions. Aldrin was able to see his theories in work aboard Gemini 12, a four-day mission he flew with James A. Lovell beginning Nov. 11, 1966. This final Gemini mission proved that NASA and its astronauts had mastered all of the difficulties that occurred earlier in the programme. Gemini 12 docked with an Agena target, and Aldrin made a record 5.5 hour space walk. Using handholds and foot restraints and resting frequently he was able to do all his tasks without the difficulties experienced on earlier EVA's.

On July 20, 1969, Aldrin became the second human being to set foot on the moon. He was joined Neil Armstrong on the surface for two hours of ceremonies and moon rock collecting. The next day the astronautsí Lunar Module lifted off from the lunar surface and docked with the Apollo 11 command module, piloted by Mike Collins, in lunar orbit. Armstrong and Aldrin transferred their moon rocks to the command module. The Lunar Module ascent stage was cast off and the crew rocketed to a safe recovery in the Pacific Ocean.

Aldrin returned to active Air Force duty in 1971 and was assigned as commander of the Test Pilots School at Edwards Air Force Base, California. He encountered personal emotional difficulties and retired from the Air Force as a Colonel in 1972. He remained active in space activism, serving as President of Starcraft Enterprises of Laguna Beach, California and Chairman of the Board of Governors of the National Space Society. He authored three books: "Return to Earth" which documents his difficulties following the first moon landing, "Men From Earth", and the a science-fiction novel, "Encounter With Tiber".

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Last update 3 May 2001.
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