Buzz Aldrin was an American astronaut who made history. Best known for being the Lunar Module Pilot on Apollo 11 and being the second man to walk on the Moon after Neil Armstrong.
He is known as one of the most fearless astronauts and became a symbol of exploration and innovation around the world.
Through his long military career, before he set off into space, Buzz honed his skills into those needed to help take humanity beyond our planet.
He changed the course of history with his courage and ambition, leading spacecraft further than ever thought possible in human history.
Buzz Aldrin showed us that by pushing boundaries to venture further, we could make great scientific discoveries – inspiring generations to come.
Buzz Aldrin Facts for Kids
- Buzz Aldrin was the second person to walk on the Moon.
- He was a pilot in the U.S. Air Force.
- He flew on the Gemini 12 and Apollo 11 missions.
- He has a doctorate in astronautics.
- He was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
- He co-wrote a book called “Return to Earth.”
Buzz was born on January 20th, 1930, in Montclair, New Jersey, to two loving parents. His sister gave him the nickname ‘Buzzer’ because she had some trouble pronouncing ‘brother,’ and it just stuck with him! In 1988, Buzz made the decision to proudly use ‘Buzz’ as his first name officially.
Having grown up in New Jersey, Buzz was exposed to a wide array of cultures. He was able to appreciate the world from different perspectives from a young age. He was fascinated by space exploration and dreamed of one day going beyond what anyone had ever seen before.
He had a family legacy. Buzz was the son of Marion Moon and Edwin Eugene Aldrin, Col. of the U.S Air Force. He attended Montclair High School in New Jersey for his secondary education before he went to West Point in 1947 after graduation. He graduated third of his class with a degree in Mechanical Engineering by 1951.
The U.S. Air Force gave him wings to fly and brought out the best in him – he thus flew on many missions during the Korean War as part of their 51st Fighter Wing to protect South Korea from Communist invasion.
Eager for more knowledge and experience, Aldrin pursued further studies, earning his Master’s at MIT before completing a Ph.D. in Aeronautics and Astronautics by 1963.
Aldrin first tied the knot with Joan Ann Archer, whom he was married to from 1954 to 1975. After they separated, he went on to marry Beverly Van Zile between 1975 and 1978 and then Lois Driggs Cannon from 1988 until his death in 2012.
Aldrin and Archer had three kids – two sons and a daughter- which they raised together during their marriage. He continued to stay in touch with them even after the separation.
After graduation, Aldrin was picked by NASA to lead space exploration. His thesis on “Line-of-sight guidance techniques” gained him the moniker “Dr. Rendezvous.” To prepare for spacewalking, he pioneered underwater training techniques.
On his journey, Aldrin achieved many milestones. On the Gemini 12 mission, he took the first-ever space selfie.’ On the Apollo 11 mission of 1969, Aldrin became the second man to walk on the Moon with commander Neil Armstrong and gathered the largest audience to date. He returned with 46 pounds of moon rocks after 21 hours on the lunar surface.
Following 21 years of active service in NASA, Aldrin wrote an autobiography that revealed his post-NASA depression. He also devised ‘Aldrin Mars Cycler’ and acquired U.S. patents for various other creations like a modular space station, reusable rockets, and multi-crew modules, among others.
Together with Armstrong and Collins of the Apollo 11 crew, Aldrin was honored with the Presidential Medal of Freedom & Congressional Gold Medal; Asteroid ‘6470 Aldrin & a crater was named after him; four stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame; & from 2014, a STEAM program by ShareSpace Foundation which inspired K.G. – 8th graders in the USA.
In addition to these accomplishments, Aldrin wrote several science fiction novels & children’s books; launched Buzz Aldrin Space Institute at Florida Tech to promote permanent settlement on Mars; and published memoirs like No Dream Is Too High (2016) and Magnificent Desolation (2009).
Some Fun Facts About Buzz Aldrin
Buzz Aldrin is a true space pioneer. He was the second person to ever take a step on the Moon during the Apollo 11 mission. It was a daring feat that changed history and left an indelible mark on our society forever.
Flying beyond Earth’s atmosphere, he was part of the Gemini 12 and Apollo 14 crew, a huge achievement and an experience of a lifetime.
Buzz Aldrin’s record-breaking journey in space lasted 12 days, 1 hour, and 53 minutes. He experienced weightlessness, witnessed breathtaking cosmic views, and even walked on the Moon!
Buzz Aldrin earned countless awards for being a true hero. The Air Force Distinguished Service Medal and the Distinguished Flying Cross show his bravery, while the Presidential Medal of Freedom celebrates his duty and leadership.