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Buzz Aldrin in 1969

Buzz Aldrin (born January 20, 1930) is an American former astronaut and fighter pilot. As lunar module pilot on the Apollo 11 mission, he and Neil Armstrong were the first humans to land on the Moon. A graduate of West Point and MIT, where he earned a doctorate in astronautics, Aldrin served as an Air Force fighter pilot during the Korean War, flying 66 combat missions and shooting down two MiGs. He was selected as an astronaut with NASA's third group in 1963. His first spaceflight was in 1966 on Gemini 12, during which he spent over five hours outside the spacecraft. He set foot on the Moon on July 21, 1969 (UTC), nine minutes after Armstrong. He left NASA in 1971 and became commandant of the U.S. Air Force Test Pilot School. His autobiographies Return to Earth and Magnificent Desolation recount his struggles with depression and alcoholism. He developed the Aldrin cycler, a Mars spacecraft trajectory, and continues to advocate for space exploration, particularly a human mission to Mars. (Full article...)

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