Aldrin, Edwin Eugene
Edwin Eugene "Buzz" Aldrin, Jr. (born January 20, 1930) is an American engineer and former astronaut, and the second person to walk on the Moon. Autograph Slip Signed, n.d. - 4 x 2 written in blk ink on heavy bond parchment with no appearance of age toning seen. Overall, very fine/extra fine condition.
He was the Lunar Module Pilot on Apollo 11, the first manned lunar landing in history. He set foot on the Moon at 03:15:16 on July 21, 1969 (UTC), following mission commander Neil Armstrong. He is a former U.S. Air Force officer and a Command Pilot.
Aldrin was selected as a member of the third group of NASA astronauts in October 1963. Because test pilot experience was no longer a requirement, this was the first selection for which he was eligible. After the deaths of the original Gemini 9 prime crew, Elliot See and Charles Bassett, Aldrin and Jim Lovell were promoted to backup crew for the mission.
Aldrin, a Presbyterian, was the first person to hold a religious ceremony on the Moon. After landing on the Moon, he radioed Earth: "I'd like to take this opportunity to ask every person listening in, whoever and wherever they may be, to pause for a moment and contemplate the events of the past few hours, and to give thanks in his or her own way." He took communion on the surface of the Moon, but he kept it secret because of a lawsuit brought by atheist activist Madalyn Murray O’Hair over the reading of Genesis on Apollo 8.
After leaving NASA in July 1971, Aldrin was assigned as the Commandant of the U.S. Air Force Test Pilot School at Edwards Air Force Base, California. In March 1972, Aldrin retired from active duty after 21 years of service, and returned to the Air Force in a managerial role, but his career was blighted by personal problems.
His autobiographies Return to Earth, published in 1973, and Magnificent Desolation, published in June 2009, both provide accounts of his struggles with clinical depression and alcoholism in the years following his NASA career.
Aldrin's life improved considerably when he recognized and sought treatment for his problems. Since retiring from NASA, he has continued to promote space exploration. In 1987 he founded the Space Studies graduate program at the University of North Dakota. Later, he produced a computer strategy game called Buzz Aldrin's Race Into Space (1993).