Buzz Aldrin

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Aldrin, Buzz

(ôl`drĭn) (Edwin Eugene Aldrin, Jr.), 1930–, American astronaut, b. Montclair, N.J. After graduating from West Point (1951), Aldrin joined the U.S. air force and flew 66 combat missions during the Korean War. His doctoral thesis at the Massachusetts Inst. of Technology (1963) was on orbital mechanics, and he was selected in 1963 as an astronautastronaut,
crew member on a U.S. manned spaceflight mission; the Soviet term is cosmonaut. Candidates for manned spaceflight are carefully screened to meet the highest physical and mental standards, and they undergo rigorous training.
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 by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). Aldrin was the prime pilot of Gemini 12 (Nov. 11–15, 1966), a 59-revolution flight that brought the Gemini space program to a successful close; his 5 1/2-hour space walk established a record for extravehicular activity at that time and proved that a person could function in the weightless vacuum of space. As the lunar module pilot of Apollo 11 (July 16–24, 1969) Aldrin made the first lunar landing with Neil ArmstrongArmstrong, Neil Alden,
1930–2012, American astronaut, b. Wapakoneta, Ohio, grad. Purdue Univ. (B.S., 1955), Univ. of Southern California (M.S., 1970). A U.S. Navy fighter pilot during the Korean War, Armstrong became a test pilot for what was then the National Advisory
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, and on July 20 (EDST) became the second person (after Armstrong) to walk on the moon. After retiring from NASA, Aldrin served (1971–72) as commandant of the Aerospace Research Pilots' School at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif. He retired from the Air Force in 1972 to enter private business and to lecture and consult on space explorationspace exploration,
the investigation of physical conditions in space and on stars, planets, and other celestial bodies through the use of artificial satellites (spacecraft that orbit the earth), space probes (spacecraft that pass through the solar system and that may or may not
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See his autobiography, Return to Earth (1973) and Men from Earth: The Apollo Project (1989).

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