Buzz Aldrin

  • Buzz Aldrin in 1969
    Credit: NASA
    Name: Edwin Eugene Aldrin Jr.
  • Born: 20th January 1930
  • Nationality: USA
  • Occupation: astronaut, fighter pilot, engineer
  • Time in space: 12 days, 1 hour, 52 minutes

Buzz graduated with a degree in mechanical engineering, before joining the US Air Force and serving as a jet fighter pilot during the Korean War. He earned a doctorate in astronautics (the engineering of flight beyond the Earth's atmosphere), and later he applied to join the astronaut training scheme. He was initially rejected, having never been a test pilot, but he later re-applied and was accepted.

As a pilot on the Gemini 12 mission, Buzz set a record for the longest spacewalk (or EVA, extravehicular activity). Buzz was then chosen for the Apollo 11 mission which landed on the Moon. He was the second person to step on the Moon, the day after Neil Armstrong.

He was given the nickname 'Buzz' in childhood, when his older sister mispronounced 'brother' as 'buzzer', which was shortened to 'buzz'. He made it his legal first name in 1988.