Buzz Aldrin: Introduction (01:30)
Aldrin is the son of an aviation pioneer and learned to fly because he enjoyed competition. He scored two kills during the Korean War, earned a doctorate in space science, and landed on the moon.
Aldrin's Youth (02:00)
Aldrin was born in 1930 in Montclair, New Jersey. He attended summer camp in Maine, graduated from West Point, attended flight school in San Antonio, and flew combat missions in Korea; Aldrin felt pressure to be first in everything.
Air Force Career (03:41)
Aldrin taught combat gunnery, was an Air Force Academy Dean of Faculty aid, flew F-100s in Germany, and became one of the first aeronautics students at MIT; see President Kennedy's speech about putting a man on the moon. Aldrin worked in the Air Force Space Office, supporting Project Gemini and became a member of the third astronaut class.
NASA Astronauts (03:53)
Project Mercury astronauts underwent a barrage of tests; Project Mercury focused more on flight operations. Aldrin's work changed docking maneuvers in space and revised space walking procedures. Aldrin was part of the Gemini 12 flight; he recalls waiting to learn who would land on the moon.
Apollo Missions (04:23)
Aldrin was part of the backup crew for Apollo 8. Learn the mission focus for Apollo 9, Apollo 10, and Apollo 11; Aldrin helped create a lunar mission timeline. Aldrin reflects on choosing who would walk on the moon first; NASA chose Neil Armstrong.
Apollo 11 (04:59)
The revolutions of the 1960s changed aspects of daily life. Millions watched Armstrong, Aldrin, and Michael Collins on their mission; administrators feared the lunar mission would fail. See footage of the lunar landing.
Aldrin's Legacy (02:48)
Aldrin was a successful pilot, academic, and astronaut. Experts reflect on Aldrin's feelings of self-worth. He developed a gravity-based model of interplanetary flight and envisions ships carrying hundreds in space flight.
Credits: Legends of Air Power: Buzz Aldrin (00:26)
Credits: Legends of Air Power: Buzz Aldrin
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