Astronaut Buzz Aldrin is famous for two things - being the second man to walk on the moon and the first astronaut candidate with a doctorate degree. The astronaut recently turned 91 and celebrated his birthday with as many candles on the cake.
Born as Edwin Eugene Aldrin Jr. on January 20, 1930, in New Jersey, he would go on to become one the most famous and recognisable men on the planet. Here is how he welcomed his 91st year on this beautiful planet.
When Alan Shepard said, “Let’s light this candle” I’m sure he never envisioned 91 of them! Thank you everyone for all the birthday wishes yesterday and to my Anca for making the day so special. 🚀 pic.twitter.com/spoGB9HHw3
— Dr. Buzz Aldrin (@TheRealBuzz) January 21, 2021
People poured in their wishes to the stylish yet quiet birthday celebration. To celebrate his decades-long journey, let’s take a look back to where it all began.
You could tell his future was among the stars right from the beginning. His mother’s maiden name was even Moon! Even though his first application to NASA was rejected, his second time turned lucky and he was accepted. On account of various fields’ expertise (military, engineering, orbital mechanics) and a doctoral degree, he received the nickname “Dr. Rendezvous.”
He was ultimately picked for the historic team of men who would land on the moon with the ambitious Apollo 11 mission. Buzz had done spacewalk on the Gemini 12 program. But being a part of Apollo 11 was something of an utmost privilege.
Families across America gathered in front of their television sets to watch three men sent out into the wild, uncharted space. Neil Armstrong, “Buzz” Aldrin, and Michael Collins ascended into space on July 16, 1969.
Buzz was the religious person from the lot. When he reached the Lunar surface, his first response was to thank the Lord.
According to archives, Buzz’s first words on the moon were “Beautiful view.” Neil asked “Isn't that something? Magnificent sight out here” and Buzz replied “Magnificent desolation.”
Before taking their spacewalk, Buzz performed Holy Communion on the lunar surface, making him the first and only man in the history of human existence to do so. The deeply religious man poured some wine on the lunar ground, a wine which he had sneaked in. NASA is not affiliated to any religion, so they kept this fact hidden for decades. It wasn’t until the 50th anniversary of the moon that this fact came to light. He wanted to thank his God and he felt it was right at that moment.
Years later, he admitted regret. On being asked if he could go back and re-live the experience, he said he would probably not do the communion. He reasoned that Communion was a Christian sacrament, but he was on the moon on behalf of Jews, Muslims, atheists, animists and everyone in between. But at that time, he could think of no other to acknowledge his thanks for Apollo 11.
Buzz also featured in most of the photographs taken on the moon. As Neil Armstrong handled the camera, all the astronaut pictures setting equipment were of Buzz. A lesser-known factoid about him is that he is also the first person to urinate on the moon.