Apollo 11 moonwalker Buzz Aldrin turns 83

Last Updated: Monday, January 21, 2013 - 19:10

New York: Buzz Aldrin, the second person ever to walk on the Moon along with Apollo 11 astronaut Neil Armstrong, has celebrated his 83rd birthday.

Born on January 20, 1930, Aldrin is marking his birthday on the road with a trip to England.

"I`m heading home today if the UK weather allows," Aldrin wrote in a post on Twitter.

Aldrin is well-known for his role on NASA`s Apollo 11 mission, which made the first manned Moon landing on July 20, 1969, when he and Armstrong landed on the lunar surface and performed the first moonwalk.

Aldrin served as lunar module pilot for the Apollo 11 mission, with Armstrong commanding the mission. Armstrong died at age 82 last year.

Aldrin is a retired colonel in the US Air Force and flew combat missions in Korea before joining NASA`s astronaut corps in 1963 as one of the space agency`s third group of astronauts.

He was born Edwin Aldrin and "Buzz" was originally a nickname. Aldrin earned a PhD in astronautics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Aldrin`s fist space mission, Gemini 12, launched on November 11, 1966, sending him and astronaut James Lovell on a four-day mission to test spacewalk methods, among other goals.

It was the final mission of NASA`s Gemini programme, allowing the space agency to proceed with the Apollo missions that ultimately sent Aldrin to the Moon.

Aldrin, Armstrong and Collins launched their Apollo 11 mission on July 16, 1969. Aldrin and Armstrong spent two hours and 15 minutes walking on the lunar surface during their time on the moon. The Apollo 11 crew returned to Earth on July 24, 1969.

Aldrin left NASA in 1971 and retired from the Air Force a year later. Altogether, he logged 289 hours and 53 minutes in space.


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First Published: Monday, January 21, 2013 - 19:10

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