Tag Archives: buzz aldrin

Rare photos of the Moon, as the Apollo astronauts witnessed it

It’s already been 48 years since those amazing moments, but their image is still as inspiring as ever.

Apollo 11 astronaut Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin poses with the US flag planted on the Sea of Tranquility. If you look closely, you can see Aldrin’s face through his helmet visor.

On July 20, 1969, the Lunar Module Eagle separated from the Command Module Columbia. Left alone on the shuttle, Michael Collins watched as the Eagle pirouetted before him, safely carrying Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin towards the surface of the Moon. The seconds were long, but they came to an end, as Armstrong’s timeless words resounded across the entire planet.

“Houston, Tranquility Base here. The Eagle has landed.”

Buzz Aldrin walking on the Moon. Photo snapped by Neil Armstrong.

But even that would be topped. Broadcasted to a global audience, Armstrong stepped onto the lunar surface, describing the event in even more iconic words: “one small step for [a] man, one giant leap for mankind,” he said. For the most part, Armstrong operated the camera, which meant that most of the footage is of Aldrin. But it was Armstrong who first stepped on the moon, unveiling a plaque signed by the astronauts and President Nixon

“Here men from the planet Earth first set foot upon the Moon, July 1969 A.D. We came in peace for all mankind.”

The view of Earth from the surface of the Moon during the Apollo 11 mission. Tranquility indeed.

Armstrong and Aldrin spent just under a day on the lunar surface, collecting rocks and planting a flag, but it was a day that inspired generations and generations of scientists and explorers. The most advanced technological feat of the time, and the first time a human being had set foot on an extraterrestrial body. Oh, and they did it with less processing power than your smartphone.

But it wasn’t just the Apollo 11. The whole Apollo project propelled science and space exploration into a new world, expanding the limits of our knowledge beyond what many thought was possible.

Astronaut Dave Scott pokes his head out of the Apollo 9 command module while it orbits Earth.

These images do a great deal to capture that spirit. Archived by NASA and arranged by Kipp Teague, a volunteer historian who runs the Project Apollo Archive, they tell a wonderful story. A story of courage, hard work, and intelligence. A triumph of science over a “magnificent desolation.” Sure, you could say it was a part of the Cold War, you could say it was a political impetus that caused these achievements, but at the end of the day, it was the work of brilliant men and women that got the job done.

Here’s to them!

Apollo 11 astronaut Neil Armstrong in the lunar module shortly after taking the first steps on the moon’s surface.

This July 20, 1969 photograph of the interior view of the Apollo 11 Lunar Module shows astronaut Edwin E. “Buzz” Aldrin, Jr. during the lunar landing mission. The picture was taken by Armstrong, prior to the landing.

It was not with ease that this was done — and nothing illustrates that better than Apollo 13. It was supposed to be the third mission to reach the Moon, but two days after takeoff, an oxygen tank exploded. Rather ironically, the shuttle passed the far side of the Moon, to this day remaining the farthest humans have ever traveled from Earth.

After them, other missions were successful in reaching the Moon. Apollo 17 was the final mission of NASA’s Apollo program, and it was the last time mankind has set foot on the Moon. It was in 1972.

A close-up view of astronaut Buzz Aldrin’s bootprint in the lunar soil, photographed with the 70mm lunar surface camera during Apollo 11’s sojourn on the moon.

Astronaut James B. Irwin with Apollo 15’s Lunar Roving Vehicle.

Apollo 16 astronaut John Young, along with Charles Duke, set up the first lunar surface cosmic ray detector.

An Apollo 17 astronaut takes a sample of a rock on the Moon.

An Apollo 15 astronaut walks next to tracks left by the Lunar Roving Vehicle. Apollo 15 was the first Apollo mission that packed a “moon buggy.”

A bit of lunar perspective. NASA designed the Lunar Roving Vehicle to operate in low gravity and allow the astronauts to traverse more ground during their short time on the Moon’s surface.

All images courtesy of NASA.

Buzz Aldrin joins Florida university to develop ‘master plan’ for settlement on Mars

Buzz Aldrin, the second man to ever set foot on the Moon and one of the most respected and vocal astronauts, will serve as a research professor for aeronautics and senior faculty adviser for the Florida Institute of Technology. He will be spearheading the “Buzz Aldrin Space Institute”, whose main purpose will be to create a plan for a permanent settlement on Mars by 2040.

Buzz Aldrin. Image via Huff Post.

In his vision, the Martian satellites Phobos and Deimos are preliminary stepping stones and more attention should be focused on them. He also said he doesn’t like the idea of a “one way” trip to Mars, and instead, envisions work trips that would last about 10 years.

“The Pilgrims on the Mayflower came here to live and stay. They didn’t wait around Plymouth Rock for the return trip, and neither will people building up a population and a settlement on Mars” .

Florida Tech’s executive vice president, T. Dwayne McCay, was delighted to work with Aldrin, and praised him for his achievements. But he didn’t miss the chance to poke a joke at the veteran astronaut.

“Everyone knows what Buzz Aldrin is most famous for, and that is being a contestant on ‘Dancing with the Stars.'”

Aldrin came back with a buzz.

“Big Bang Theory,” he corrected.

In 1969, Aldrin and Apollo 11 commander Neil Armstrong became the first people to land on the moon. Now, almost 50 years later, he is still active and contributing to the space mission. NASA will evaluate and oversee his results, and hopefully, will ultimately approve and implement them.



Buzz Aldrin in Stonehenge photoshoot: ‘Get your a** to Mars’


Image: Facebook

Buzz Aldrin, the second man on the moon, is no stranger to staggering photos. His most famous shot includes the first ever selfie in space. Now, while visiting Stonehenge, Aldrin posted on Twitter a photo of him sporting a t-shirt with a stylized Mars logo a la NASA, which read “Get your ass to Mars”. A long time supporter of inter-planetary exploration, both publicly during his numerous TV appearances or press editorials and institutionally during his stints in front of Congress, this latest publicity shot aims to inspire the public and garner support for a manned mission to Mars.

[ALSO SEE] The first man to pee on the moon, Buzz Aldrin

Aldrin, now 85, took the photo white hair billowing in the wind right in front of the Stonehenge circle. It’s one of the most famous prehistoric sites in the world, inciting our imagination for generations. It’s no wonder that the former astronaut chose it to make his statement. Setting foot on Mars, similarly to how he walked on the moon almost 50 years ago, requires not only great determination, but vision and courage. Last year, in November, Aldrin wrote an op-ed for Time in which he stressed the importance of a Mars mission.

I firmly believe we will establish permanence on that planet. And in reaching for that goal, we can cultivate commercial development of the moon, the asteroid belt, the Red Planet itself and beyond. …

We need to look forward to countries around the globe following our lead and establishing a rotating permanence on Mars for science and commercial resources.

Some 45 years ago, when Neil Armstrong and I stepped upon the surface of the moon at Tranquility Base, we fulfilled a dream held by humankind for centuries. Yes, it was one small step. Today, more steps are needed.

Aldrin snapped the photo in November 1966, during Gemini 12, the last mission of a program meant to test astronauts' ability to dock with spacecraft already in orbit.

Aldrin snapped the photo in November 1966, during Gemini 12, the last mission of a program meant to test astronauts’ ability to dock with spacecraft already in orbit.

Right now, the most exciting prospect for a man on the Moon comes from the Dutch non-profit organization, Mars One. The organization wants to send humans on a one-wide ride to Mars to colonize the planet by 2025. Many leading voices in the space industry and science have widely criticized the idea, calling it either a sham or a disaster waiting to happen. NASA on the other hand is dead serious on going to Mars, and it’s proven track record means they actually stand a chance 2030 onward.

AstroPicture of the Day: The First Space Selfie, 1966

In a tweet last month, astronaut Buzz Aldrin informed us that he was the first to ever take a selfie – in outer space. The mission took place from November 11 and lasted 3 days, 22 hours and 34 minutes. The two-man crew included Aldrin and James Lovell Jr. That was Aldrin’s first space flight. Years after, both he and Lovell would be part of the first mission to the Moon, alongside Neil Armstrong, on 21 July 1969.

So remember kids, selfies are really cool in outer space; on Earth… that’s a different story.


Neil Armstrong, first man to walk on the Moon, dies

Neil Armstrong: 1930-2012. This is not something I wanted to write down – and I feel extremely sad and awkward doing it.

The man who took the first step on the Moon died due to a heart condition. The American hero, 82 years old, who never dwelled on his success, and never tried to milk his fame for any reasons whatsoever is no longer with us. Despite the support and adoration of an entire planet, he wanted the world to applaud the team achievement, not the man – so this is what we’ll do.

Apollo 11 members, as Buzz Aldrin so brilliantly describe, faced numerous technical difficulties, and they understood the importance and meaning of their mission; the mission required an almost unthinkable amount of trust in the team, and the plan was as brave as it was clever. That first moment, in the Sea of Tranquility was, indeed, one small step for man, and one giant step for mankind.

I am, and ever will be, a white-socks, pocket-protector, nerdy engineer — born under the second law of thermodynamics, steeped in the steam tables, in love with free-body diagrams, transformed by Laplace, and propelled by compressible flow. As an engineer, I take a substantial amount of pride in the accomplishments of my profession.

Aldrin hoped that on July 20th, 2019, he would meet up with Armstrong and Michael Collins, the third member of the mission, to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 Moon Landing – but he was wrong. Armstrong stated that during his lifetime, we would most likely build permanently manned outposts on the Moon – and he was wrong too. But space technology took some incredibly large steps, despite numerous set backs and budget cuts – if you think about it, today’s average cell phones are more powerful than Apollo 11’s computers. But somehow, we seem to have lost that thirst for knowledge and exploration.

“I think we’re going to the moon because it’s in the nature of the human being to face challenges. It’s by the nature of his deep inner soul … we’re required to do these things just as salmon swim upstream” – Neil Armstrong.

This is the legacy Armstrong wanted – he wanted us to continue pursuing the nature of our inner soul. If we are to honour his memory, we must honour space exploration, as well as any other scientific endeavour that forces us to extend our limits. This is what the pilot, the engineer, the brave, shy man,  would have wanted.

unknown photoshop credit. via Gizmodo

Short fact: the first man to pee on the moon, Buzz Aldrin

unknown photoshop credit. via Gizmodo

unknown photoshop credit. via Gizmodo

There were a lot of firsts during the initial lunar landings, especially during the very first Apollo 11 mission. There was, of course, the obvious first famous moon walk by Neil Armstrong, the first country to land on the moon, the first word spoken from the moon, and so on. A new genesis of gestures and representations of life in an otherwise dead as they come space rock. Here’s a fun little fact, though, one that few people but Apollo 11-nerds know about — the first man to pee on the moon was Buzz Aldrin, the Lunar Module pilot and the second man to ever set foot on the moon.

Of course, he didn’t actually pee on the moon, Aldrin took his lunar leak into a special bag in his space suit, before trying to climb the Apollo 11 lander’s ladder.

“Everyone has their firsts on the moon, and that one hasn’t been disputed by anybody,” he said in the 2007 Apollo-program documentary In the Shadow of the Moon.

Aldrin, a U.S. national hero by all accounts, is now retired and is enjoying the quiet simple life, going on book tours (he co-authored a number of books, including his most recent one “Magnificent Desolation”), getting a facelift and performing his very own rap song. Hats off to you, sir!

New footage of Moon Landing found

A long lost footage of the best minutes of the moon landing (Neil Armstrong going down the ladder) has been found in Australian archives and will be released next week in Sidney. Wait, What ?! How do you lose footage of the Moon landing ? Just like that, according to Australian archivists.

The film was lost for decades and when found, was badly damaged, according to John Sarkissian, historian and astronomer in Sidney. He also said that this was the “best quality of Armstrong descending the ladder“.

“NASA were using the Goldstone (California) station signal, which had its settings wrong, but in the signals being received by the Australian stations you can actually see Armstrong. In what people have seen before you can barely see Armstrong at all, you can see something black — that was his leg.”

From the available information, the footage is just a few minutes long, and will be released next Wednesday, at the awards night of Australian Geographic magazine, where Buzz Aldrin, astronaut on Apollo 11 will be the guest of honor.