Edwin E. (Buzz) Aldrin
This is the official NASA portrait of astronaut Edwin E. (Buzz) Aldrin. Prior to joining NASA, Aldrin flew 66 combat missions in F-86s while on duty in Korea. At Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada, he served as an aerial gunnery instructor. Following his assignment as aide to the dean of faculty at the Air Force Academy, Aldrin flew F-100s as a flight commander at Bitburg, Germany. Aldrin was one of the third group of astronauts named by NASA in October 1963 and has logged 289 hours and 53 minutes in space, of which, 7 hours and 52 minutes were spent in Extra Vehicular Activity (EVA). On November 11, 1966, he launched into space aboard the Gemini 12 spacecraft on a 4-day flight, which brought the Gemini program to a successful close. During that mission, Aldrin established a new record for EVA, spending 5-1/2 hours outside the spacecraft. July 16-24, 1969, Aldrin served as lunar module pilot for Apollo 11, the first manned lunar landing mission. Aldrin followed Neil Armstrong onto the lunar surface on July 20, 1969, completing a 2-hour and 15 minute lunar EVA. Aldrin resigned from NASA in July 1971.
The mission plan of Apollo 11 was to land two men on the lunar surface and return them safely to Earth. The spacecraft carried a crew of three: Mission Commander Neil Armstrong, Command Module Pilot Michael Collins, and Lunar Module Pilot Edwin E. Aldrin Jr., was launched by a Saturn V from Cape Kennedy on July 16, 1969, and after three days until they entered lunar orbit. Collins was awaiting on Lunar orbit while the Eagle Lunar Module with Armstrong and Aldrin and has landed in Moon's Mare Tranquillitatis at 3:17 p.m. EST on July 20, 1969. Immediately after landing on the Moon, Armstrong and Aldrin prepared the LM for liftoff as a contingency measure. Following the meal, the astronauts began preparations for the descent to the lunar surface. Armstrong emerged from the spacecraft first. While descending, he released the Modularized Equipment Stowage Assembly on which the surface television camera was stowed, and the camera recorded humankind's first step on the Moon. A sample of lunar surface material was collected and stowed to assure that, if a contingency required an early end to the planned surface activities, samples of lunar surface material would be returned to Earth. Astronaut Aldrin subsequently descended to the lunar surface. The astronauts collected lunar samples, deployed several experiments, and made photographs of the lunar surface. Two and a quarter hours later, the astronauts reentered the Lunar Module, after which the astronauts slept. The ascent from the lunar surface began 21 hours and 36 minutes after the lunar landing. In about four days, the Command Module entered Earth atmosphere and landed in the Pacific Ocean.