Buzz Aldrin, Ph.D.
(NASA Astronaut, Apollo 11 Moon Landing)
1.3 – The Visitors (4.27.10)
4.5 – The NASA Connection (3.9.12)
9.2 – Destination Mars (5.13.16)
9.11 – Space Station Moon (7.29.16)
Buzz Aldrin grew up in Montclair, New Jersey. His mother, Marion Moon, was the daughter of an Army Chaplain and his father Edwin Eugene Aldrin was an aviation pioneer. Buzz graduated one year early from Montclair High School and he attended the US Military Academy at West Point, graduating third in his class with a BS in mechanical engineering. He then joined the Air Force where he flew F86 Sabre Jets in 66 combat missions in Korea, shot down two MIG-15′s, and was decorated with the Distinguished Flying Cross. After a tour of duty in Germany flying F100′s, he earned his Doctorate of Science in Astronautics at MIT and wrote his thesis on Manned Orbital Rendezvous.
Selected by NASA in 1963 into the third group of astronauts, Aldrin was the first with a doctorate and became known as “Dr. Rendezvous.” The docking and rendezvous techniques he devised for spacecraft in Earth and lunar orbit became critical to the success of the Gemini and Apollo programs, and are still used today. He pioneered underwater training techniques to simulate spacewalking. In 1966 on the Gemini 12 orbital mission, Buzz performed the world’s first successful spacewalk – extra-vehicular activity (EVA), and set a new EVA record of 5 1⁄2 hours. During that mission he also took the first ‘selfie’ in space.
On July 20, 1969, Buzz 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 – at that time, the world’s largest television audience in history – witnessed this unprecedented heroic endeavor.
Upon returning from the moon, Buzz was decorated with the Presidential Medal of Freedom and numerous awards all over the world. Named after Buzz are Asteroid “6470 Aldrin” and the “Aldrin Crater” on the moon. In 2011 along with his Apollo 11 crew mates Neil Armstrong and Michael Collins, he received the Congressional Gold Medal.
Buzz is the author of 9 books, most recently his children’s book, Welcome to Mars: Making a Home on the Red Planet and his newest NY Times and Washington Post Bestseller, “No Dream Is Too High: Life Lessons from a Man Who Walked on the Moon”. Both published by National Geographic.
In October of 2014 he revamped his ShareSpace Foundation to be focused on STEAM Education – Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math to ignite the spark and fuel excitement for space in kids –Specifically for K-8. In August of 2015 he launched the Buzz Aldrin Space Institute at Florida Tech to promote and develop his vision of a permanent human settlement on the planet Mars.
Since retiring from NASA and the U.S. Air Force, Col. Aldrin calls himself a Global Statesman for Space and has remained a tireless advocate for human space exploration. 
No Dream Is Too High: Life Lessons From a Man Who Walked on the Moon
Beloved American hero Buzz Aldrin reflects on the wisdom, guiding principles, and irreverent anecdotes he’s gathered through his event-filled life—both in outer space and on earth—in this inspiring guide-to-life for the next generation.
Everywhere he goes, crowds gather to meet Buzz Aldrin. He is a world-class hero, a larger-than-life figurehead, best known of a generation of astronauts whose achievements surged in just a few years from first man in space to first men on the moon. Now he pauses to reflect and share what he has learned, from the vantage point not only of outer space but also of time: still a non-stop traveler and impassioned advocate for space exploration, Aldrin will be 86 in 2016.
No Dream Is Too High whittles down Buzz Aldrin’s event-filled life into a short list of principles he values, each illustrated by fascinating anecdotes and memories, such as:
· Second comes right after first. NASA protocol should have meant he was first on the moon, but rules changed just before the mission. How he learned to be proud of being the second man on the moon.
· Look for opportunities, not obstacles. Buzz was rejected the first time he applied to be an astronaut. Failure is an opportunity to learn to do better.
· Always maintain your spirit of adventure. For his 80th birthday, Buzz went diving in the Galapagos and hitched a ride on a whale shark. He stays fit, energetic, and fascinated with life.
No Dream Is Too High is a beautiful memento, a thought-provoking set of ideas, and a new opportunity for Buzz Aldrin to connect with the masses of people who recognize his unique place in human history.
Welcome to Mars: Making a Home on the Red Planet
Space is still the final frontier and Mars continues to make news and attract generations of young people. In this fascinating book, hero-astronaut Buzz Aldrin challenges curious kids to think about Mars as not just a faraway red planet but as a possible future home for Earthlings!
What will your new home be like? How will you get there? What will you eat for breakfast? Find out what life might be like far, far from Earth as you navigate your way through this fun and fascinating book. What kid wouldn’t want to blast off with him on this (literary) journey!
I walked on the moon. This is my journey. But it didn’t begin when I stepped on board Apollo 11 on July 1, 1969. It began the day I was born.
Becoming an astronaut took more than education, discipline, and physical strength. It took years of determination and believing that any goal is possible—from riding a bike alone across the George Washington Bridge at age ten to making a footprint on the Moon.
I always knew the Moon was within my reach—and that I was ready to be on the team that would achieve the first landing. But it was still hard to believe when I took my first step onto the Moon’s surface.
We all have our own dreams. This is the story of how mine came true.
Mission to Mars: My Vision for Space Exploration
Can astronauts reach Mars by 2035? Absolutely, says Buzz Aldrin, one of the first men to walk on the moon. Celebrated astronaut, brilliant engineer, bestselling author, Aldrin believes it is not only possibly but vital to America’s future to keep pushing the space frontier outward for the sake of exploration, science, development, commerce, and security. What we need, he argues, is a commitment by the U.S. President as rousing as JFK’s promise to reach the moon by the end of the 1960s—an audacious, inspiring goal-and a unified vision for space exploration. In Mission to Mars, Aldrin plots that trajectory, stressing that American-led space exploration is essential to the economic and technological vitality of the nation and the world. Do you dare to dream big? Then join Aldrin in his thought provoking and inspiring Mission to Mars.
Buzz Aldrin takes readers on a journey through the history of space exploration.
As one of a handful of astronauts to have walked on the moon, Buzz Aldrin has a unique perspective of space. And he serves as an amazing guide as he introduces us to the pioneers of space. From Copernicus to the Wright brothers, from the Apollo program to dreams of future travel, he reminds us that mankind has always looked to the stars.
Buzz’s informative, kid-friendly text is paired with beautifully detailed illustrations by renowned illustrator Wendell Minor, and offers the perfect introduction to everything space related, including the development of the first rockets, America’s space race with Russia, details of all the Apollo missions, and the space station.
Aldrin and Minor collaborated on the bestselling Reaching for the Moon and now they reach beyond that book to give young readers a concise look at the whole history of space exploration. Each spread provides a wonderful jumping-off point for young readers, and will no doubt inspire them to look to the stars themselves.
Magnificent Desolation: The Long Journey Home from the Moon
Forty years ago, Buzz Aldrin became the second human, minutes after Neil Armstrong, to set foot on a celestial body other than the Earth. The event remains one of mankind’s greatest achievements and was witnessed by the largest worldwide television audience in history. In the years since, millions more have had their Earth-centric perspective unalterably changed by the iconic photograph of Aldrin standing on the surface of the moon, the blackness of space behind him and his fellow explorer and the Eagle reflected in his visor. Describing the alien world he was walking upon, he uttered the words “magnificent desolation.” And as the astronauts later sat in the Eagle, waiting to begin their journey back home, knowing that they were doomed unless every system and part on board worked flawlessly, it was Aldrin who responded to Mission Control’s clearance to take off with the quip, “Roger. Understand. We’re number one on the runway.”
The flight of Apollo 11 made Aldrin one of the most famous persons on our planet, yet few people know the rest of this true American hero’s story. In Magnificent Desolation, Aldrin not only gives us a harrowing first-person account of the lunar landing that came within seconds of failure and the ultimate insider’s view of life as one of the superstars of America’s space program, he also opens up with remarkable candor about his more personal trials–and eventual triumphs–back on Earth. From the glory of being part of the mission that fulfilled President Kennedy’s challenge to reach the moon before the decade was out, Aldrin returned home to an Air Force career stripped of purpose or direction, other than as a public relations tool that NASA put to relentless use in a seemingly nonstop world tour. The twin demons of depression and alcoholism emerged–the first of which Aldrin confronted early and publicly, and the second of which he met with denial until it nearly killed him. He burned through two marriages, his Air Force career came to an inglorious end, and he found himself selling cars for a living when he wasn’t drunkenly wrecking them. Redemption came when he finally embraced sobriety, gained the love of a woman, Lois, who would become the great joy of his life, and dedicated himself to being a tireless advocate for the future of space exploration–not only as a scientific endeavor but also as a thriving commercial enterprise.
These days Buzz Aldrin is enjoying life with an enthusiasm that reminds us how far it is possible for a person to travel, literally and figuratively. As an adventure story, a searing memoir of self-destruction and self-renewal, and as a visionary rallying cry to once again set our course for Mars and beyond, Magnificent Desolation is the thoroughly human story of a genuine hero.
Chronicles the story of an astronaut who discovers evidence of an extinct race of aliens that left traces of their civilization on the moon
These books provide intimate accounts of how NASA accomplished the national goal of putting a man on the moon before the end of the decade. In his book, Aldrin, the second man on the moon, interweaves the story of U.S. and Soviet efforts to reach the moon with his first-hand experience flying both the Gemini and Apollo missions during the height of the space race. His recounting of his two space flights is compelling, especially the account of the nearly aborted Apollo 11 lunar landing. In contrast to Aldrin’s astronaut’s point of view, Murray and Cox’s book tells the Apollo story through the eyes of the NASA managers who guided the men and machines from the early days of the Space Task Group to the Apollo lunar missions. The result is the best account to date of how the enormous program was successfully accomplished. Full of insiders’ anecdotes, this book truly humanizes the lunar landing story that too often has been told only in technological and bureaucratic terms. Relying heavily on interviews with the people behind the scenes, the authors vividly capture the spirit of Apollo, its triumphs and tragedies, and its ultimate success. When considering the likely demand for Apollo histories surrounding the anniversary, Aldrin’s account may be considered complementary to his Apollo 11 crewmate Michael Collins’s recent space history, Liftoff ( LJ 8/88). A review of Douglas MacKinnon and Joseph Baldanza’s Footprints: The 12 Men Who Walked on the Moon Reflect on Their Flights, Their Lives and the Future , to be published by Acropolis in July, is scheduled to appear in our next issue.– Ed. But for libraries considering only one title, Murray and Cox’s book should be considered the essential purchase.