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On Apollo 11 Anniversary, Buzz Aldrin Still Inspires


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Real Clear Politics

Robert Charles

July 20 2021

Rare is the chance to talk introspectively with an Apollo astronaut. Rarer still, Apollo 11’s Buzz Aldrin.  July 20 is the 52nd anniversary of his epic moon landing. Neil Armstrong died nine years ago, Mike Collins this year. But Buzz Aldrin is crisp and confident.

In a recent interview, he looked back on the mission. At age 91, Edwin Eugene Aldrin remains focused on the future, reflective, and hopeful. He is both a storyteller and stoic.

Asked about the lead-up to the Apollo mission, he recalls intensive training, time flying fighter jets in Korea, Gemini 12. Interestingly, his blood pressure during Gemini 12 spacewalks in 1966 was very low.  Why?  He laughs, saying the excursions were fun.  One gets the impression that, against the odds, he cloaks a bit of whimsy. 

Preparing for mankind’s first moon landing on July 20, 1969, the three crewmates trained incessantly until launch.  What was it like atop the Saturn V, at 36 stories high — bigger than the Statute of Liberty and Big Ben — the largest rocket every built?

Aldrin is frank. “Well, it was exciting. … As countdown proceeded, we were glad we didn’t have to start over.” He added, “Launch went very smoothly … nothing unexpected” and he, Armstrong and Collins “did not know exactly when we had left the ground, except from the instruments we were watching and voice communications.” 



My Favorite Buzz Aldrin Moment


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