Aldrin, Edwin, Jr

Aldrin, Edwin, Jr

 

Born Jan. 20, 1930, in Glen Ridge, near Montclair, N.J. American pilot and astronaut; air force colonel.

Aldrin graduated from the United States Military Academy in 1951. He served in the air force. In 1959 he enrolled at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. In 1963 he defended his doctoral dissertation, which was on the docking of spacecraft. He then became a member of the astronaut team of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration of the USA. He was the first astronaut to be immersed in water in a space suit during his training. On Nov. 11–15, 1966 (together with J. Lovell), he made a flight in the spacecraft Gemini 12 as copilot. The craft made 59 orbits of the earth over 94 hours and 35 minutes. During this experiment the cabin was depressurized, and Aldrin “walked” in space for 2 hours and 10 minutes. After the Gemini 12 flight he took part in developing a method for orbital rendezvous of the Gemini and Apollo spacecraft. On July 16–24, 1969, he made the first flight to the moon (together with N. Armstrong and M. Collins), as the pilot of the lunar module on the Apollo 11 spacecraft. On July 20, 1969, a landing was made in the vicinity of the Sea of Tranquillity. Aldrin went out on the lunar surface on July 21, 1969, 20 minutes after Armstrong, and spent more than 90 minutes on the surface of the moon. His total stay on the moon was 21 hours and 36 minutes. During the two flights he spent 289 hours and 53 minutes in space. A crater on the far side of the moon has been named after Aldrin.

G. A. NAZAROV