Who is the Second Man on the Moon?
The name of the second man on the moon is Buzz Aldrin. This legend took the first selfie in space. He is an ex-engineer, fighter pilot, and astronaut. In 1969, he became a proud member of the memorable mission- Apollo 11. The commander and the first man on the moon were Neil Armstrong. They along with the other ten members have walked on the moon.
Early Life of the Second Man on the Moon
Birth of the Second Man on the Moon
Buzz Aldrin was the son of an army man. His parents are Edwin Eugene Aldrin Sr. and Marion Aldrin. This American hero was born on January 20, 1930. The full name of him is Edwin Eugene Aldrin Jr. But in 1988, his nickname ‘Buzz’ became the legal name. He had two sisters named Madeleine, Fay-Ann.
Education of the Second Man on the Moon
Aldrin was a degree holder in mechanical engineering. Earlier in school, he was a good football player. Buzz achieved the rank of Tenderfoot Scout as a boy scout. In 1946, he got enrolled in Severn School, a preparatory school for Annapolis. Even so, his father wanted him to pursue a navy career he had seasickness. In contrast, Buzz had an attraction to airplanes. So, he had the dream to fly from his early life. Buzz got admission to West Point in 1974. Again, He traveled to Japan and the Philippines for study purposes. He learned Douglas MacArthur’s military government policy there. The great man became an engineer in 1951.
Career of the Second Man on the Moon
In 1951, the U.S. Air Force commissioned Buzz as a Second Lieutenant. His father wished his son would fly bombers. In contrast, Buzz’s choice was to fly fighters, and he took fighter training. On behalf of Korea Buzz flew F-86 Sabre Jets in 66 combat missions. During the Korean War, Buzz’s wing achieved a big victory. They destroyed 61 enemy MiGs in one month. Afterward, Buzz moved to the home in 1953. He then joined Nellis as an aerial gunnery instructor. In 1959, Buzz joined the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) to study masters. He completed his Ph.D. with the hope of becoming an astronaut. Buzz chose a thesis topic-“Line-of-sight guidance techniques for manned orbital rendezvous”.
Nasa selected Aldrin as a member of their Astronaut Group 3 in 1963. He was the first astronaut with a doctoral degree. The second man on the Moon had special skills in orbital mechanics. So, in NASA he owned a nickname “Dr. Rendezvous”. Later in 1971, he retired from NASA.
Gemini Program and Gemini 12
Buzz Aldrin worked under NASA’s Project Gemini after his doctorate. He was a backup crew of Gemini 10. Then, Buzz and his colleague became the prime crews of Gemini 12 in 1966. Under Gemini 12 program Aldrin had three goals known as EVA. After the third EVA, Buzz had fallen into an unknown depression.
How was the Apollo 11 mission of the Second Man on the Moon?
Apollo 11 mission is a proud history for mankind. On 20th July 1969, it placed the first humans on the surface of the moon. The spaceflight carried three astronauts there.
The first man on the moon Neil was the mission commander. The Command Module pilot was Michael Collins. The second man on the moon Aldrin was the lunar module pilot. He deployed two EASEP components on the moon. He described the scenarios of the moon as ”Magnificent Desolation”. Aldrin was the only person who performed a religious ceremony on the moon. He took photos and collect rock samples. They came back to the earth on July 24th. Later, Aldrin wrote two autobiographies about that special journey.
How the Second Man on the Moon feels about the second position?
In some interviews, Buzz Aldrin expressed his feelings about being second. Everywhere people identify him as the second man on the moon. In the early years, it did not bother him. But with passing time he started to feel uneasy. He has questioned why only Neil is the first man on the moon? He thinks they landed on the moon together. Again, they took the same training, all contributed their best. For these reasons he sometimes feels uneasy.
Ups and downs of the life of the Second Man on the Moon
Like every common man, Aldrin suffered from many ups and downs in his life. After returned to the earth he had different problems include mental illness. He struggled to answer the questions related to where he went. He then involved in the Air Force and many activities of NASA. But he started to feel empty. In 1971, he joined a test pilot school as commandant. But nothing satisfied him much. The suicide of his mother made him more depressed. Again, Buzz had serious body pain. He tried many treatments to overcome the problems. Today, at the age of 90, this brave man still dreams big.
Top five awards and books of the Second Man on the Moon
Awards of the second man on the moon
The second man on the moon achieved numbers of honors in his life. Top five popular awards of this great man are-
- For the duty of lunar module pilot on Apollo 11 Aldrin got an award. The award’s name was Air Force Distinguished Service, Medal.
- For the Gemini program, he owned NASA Exceptional Service Medal in 1966.
- In 1970, for the Apollo mission, he achieved NASA Distinguished Service Medal.
- In White House, Aldrin got New Frontier Congressional Gold Medal. It was a joint award with the Apollo 11 crew in 2011.
- The second man on the moon achieved Lifetime Achievement in 2019. He got the Stephen Hawking Medal for Science Communication.
Famous books of the second man on the moon
Buzz Aldrin had written many books and series. Here are the popular five books of him-
- Space Careers.
- View From Above: An Astronaut.
- Apogee Books Space Series Series.
- Magnificent Desolation: The Long Journey Home from the Moon.
- No Dream Is Too High: Life Lessons from a Man Who Walked on the Moon.