The world was glued to their television screens on July 16, 1969 as Apollo 11 astronauts Buzz Aldrin and Neil Armstrong took the first human steps on the moon.
Since retiring from NASA, the Air Force, and his position as Commander of the Test Pilot School at Edwards Air Force Base, Dr. Aldrin continues a leading role for America in manned space exploration. His commitment to space science and tourism saw the founding of his rocket design company, Starcraft Boosters, Inc., and the non-profit ShareSpace Foundation.
Looking back on his life, it almost seems inevitable that Buzz Aldrin should walk on the moon; his mother's maiden name was Moon. On July 20, 1969, Buzz Aldrin and fellow Apollo 11 astronaut Neil Armstrong, landed their Lunar Module on the moon's Sea of Tranquility and became the first two humans to walk on the moon. A living hero, an American patriot and a space pioneer, Buzz Aldrin is a reminder of the adventurous spirit within and stands as one of the bravest explorers of all time.
Before Apollo 11, the Bachelor of Science Honors graduate, flew 66 combat missions in F-86's while on duty in Korea. He shot down two MIG 15 aircraft. At Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada, he served as an aerial gunnery instructor. Following his assignment as aide to the dean of faculty at the Air Force Academy, Aldrin flew F-100's as a flight commander at Bitburg, Germany. Next he earned a doctorate of science in Astronautics from Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge. His thesis was "Guidance for Manned Orbital Rendezvous."
Chosen with the third group of astronauts in 1963, he was assigned to the Gemini Target Office of the Air Force Space Systems Division, Los Angeles. He first served as backup pilot for Gemini 9. On November 11, 1966, he and command pilot James Lovell were launched into space in the Gemini 12 spacecraft on a 4-day flight, which brought the Gemini program to a successful close. Aldrin established a new record for extravehicular activity (EVA), spending 5-1/2 hours outside the spacecraft.
The unprecedented heroic endeavor of Apollo 11 was witnessed by the largest worldwide television audience in history. He was presented the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest honor amongst over 50 other distinguished awards and medals from the United States and numerous other countries.
Since retiring from NASA, the Air Force, and his position as Commander of the Test Pilot School at Edwards Air Force Base after 21 years of service, and logging 4,500 hours of flying time, 290 of which were in space, including 8 hours of EVA. Dr. Aldrin has remained at the forefront of efforts to ensure a continued leading role for America in manned space exploration.
To advance his lifelong commitment to venturing outward in space, he founded his rocket design company, Starcraft Boosters, Inc., and the ShareSpace Foundation, a nonprofit organization devoted to opening the doors to space tourism for all people.
Today he travels around the world lecturing about the future of space efforts and discussing his and others' latest concepts and ideas for exploring the universe.
Buzz Aldrin's fascinating presentations are highly sought after by a diverse range of audiences. He draws upon his experience and insights with stories of his space walks and moon walks, and takes us on a journey into the future with his vision of a space-faring world.