Facts About Dr Rendezvous: Buzz Aldrin

, , Leave a comment


July 20, 1969, the historic landing of the American space craft the Apollo 11 on the Moon, was watched by 600 million people. Everyone remembers the first men to moonwalk for an incredible 21 hours. Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin are household names in almost all parts of the world.

Buzz Aldrin, will be identified by most as the second man to step onto the moon. This is only the tip of the giant achievement of this very special human being.

FACT 1: Edwin Eugene (Buzz) Aldrin Jr. was born on Jan 20, 1930, in Montclair, New Jersey. His father Edwin Aldrin was an aviation pioneer who served as a colonel in the Air Force. His mother was Marion Moon. Her surname was perhaps an uncanny prediction of her son’s illustrious future.

FACT 2: Buzz was always a bright student, completing his schooling a year ahead of time. After completing his studies, he joined the Air Force and served in Korea. He shot down two MIG 15’s and was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross. He then flew F 100’s in Germany.

FACT 3: After his term in Germany, he studied for a Doctorate in Aeronautics at MIT. His thesis on Manned Orbital Rendezvous earned him the sobriquet of ‘Dr Rendezvous’. ABoth the Russians and the Americans were unable to fine tune the process of docking and rendezvous, essential for successful orbiting Rendezvous is a maneuver that puts two space craft on the same orbit. Docking is the process of joining the two spacecraft that have made their rendezvous. In his thesis simplified complex orbital mechanisms. His techniques were made use of in the Apollo and Gemini missions and are in use even today.

FACT 4: Buzz is a thinker who applies his mind to finding simple solutions to apparently insurmountable problems. He conceived of underwater training to help astronauts to acclimatize to zero gravity. The expense of creating zero gravity conditions was crippling the astronaut training programs. The underwater technique easily and inexpensively simulated conditions in space. Thanks to Buzz, astronauts spacewalked underwater.

FACT 5: As a member of the Gemini 12 mission, Buzz became the first astronaut to undertake a successful spacewalk. At the same time he set an EVA (Extra Vehicular Activity) record of five and a half hours.

FACT 6: Fame came with the moon walk. He was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest American peacetime award. An Asteroid ‘6470 Aldrin’ is named after him, as is the moon’s ‘Aldrin Crater ‘. He can also be found on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

FACT 7: Aldrin’s romance with space did not end with his retirement from NASA and the Air Force. He is unashamedly proud of his country’s acheivements in space missions. Despite the early advantage gained by the Russians, America had achieved the foremost position in the race to conquer space. Buzz now sees China as a possible opponent. He advocates cooperation rather than competition, but still wishes his country to maintain its position. His next plan is a Mars Mission. He has devised the Aldrin Mars Cycler, in which space craft will be in perpetual orbits between Earth and Mars, making the Red Planet just a space ride away.

FACT 8: Buzz Aldrin founded the Share Space Foundation. The foundation seeks to spread science literacy among school students. This is don through hands on STEAM (Science Technology Engineering Arts Math) activities. The Foundation also creates inspirational messages and stories for young scientists.

FACT 9: Buzz Aldrin is also a prolific and successful author. He has written eight books. His autobiography ‘Magnificent Desolation’ was a New York Times best seller. His illustrated book for children ‘Reaching for the Moon’ was also a best seller. In 2013, the National Geographic Society published his book ‘Mission to Mars: My Vision for Space Exploration’. The book, as its name implies, is an outline of his plan to push mankind beyond the Moon and onto Mars.

FACT 10: Age has not diluted Aldrin’s passion. At 82, he is still calling for, not only a man on Mars, but a complete colonization of the Red Planet, by 2019.

Tea Time Quiz

[forminator_poll id="23176"]

Leave a Reply