PARTNER: Ashly Costa
BACKGROUND: He walked on the moon. Now let’s see what those feet can do on Earth.
Astronaut, scientist, inventor, best-selling author, advocate for man’s future in space, Buzz Aldrin is considered one of the greatest heroes of space exploration. On July 20, 1969, he and Neil Armstrong made their historic Apollo 11 moonwalk, becoming the first two humans to set foot on another world.
An estimated 600 million people witnessed this unprecedented heroic endeavor. Upon his return from the Apollo 11 mission, Buzz was decorated with the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest American peacetime award.
Born in 1930, Buzz was educated at West Point. He then joined the Air Force where he flew 66 combat missions in Korea and received the Distinguished Flying Cross. Buzz received his Doctorate of Science in Astronautics at MIT before being selected by NASA in 1963.
Buzz devised docking and rendezvous techniques for spacecraft in Earth and lunar orbit which became critical to the success of the Gemini and Apollo programs. He has received three U.S. patents for his schematics of a modular space station, founded Starcraft Boosters, Inc., a rocket design company, and the ShareSpace Foundation, a nonprofit devoted to advancing space education.
An accomplished writer whose work has appeared on the New York Times best-seller list, Buzz has most recently wrote an autobiography called Magnificent Desolation: The Long Journey Home From the Moon.
Named for Buzz are: Asteroid "6470 Aldrin," "Aldrin Crater" on the moon and, of course, Toy Story’s infinitely popular spaceman—Buzz Lightyear. But wait, there’s more! The MTV Music Video Award, “The Moonman” was originally called “The Buzzy” and is shaped in his image.
Sure, it’s nice to have your name on a plaque that sits on the surface of the moon, but we’re thinking this great American hero would love to have a shiny new disco ball trophy in his home right here on Earth. At least, that’s Buzz around the dance floor.
ABC.com - Meet the Stars