Famous New Jersey Mason
Edwin Eugene (Buzz) Aldrin Jr.
Aldrin, Buzz (Edwin Eugene Aldrin, Jr.), 1930–, American astronaut, b. Montclair, N.J. After graduating from West Point (1951), Aldrin joined the U.S. air force and flew 66 combat missions during the Korean War. His doctoral thesis at the Massachusetts Inst. of Technology (1963) on orbital mechanics laid the foundation for flight techniques employed later in the lunar landing program. In 1966 he was selected as an astronaut by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). Aldrin was the prime pilot of Gemini 12 (Nov. 11–15, 1966), a 59-revolution flight that brought the Gemini space program to a successful close; his 5 1/2-hour space walk established a record for extravehicular activity at that time and proved that a person could function in the weightless vacuum of space. As the lunar module pilot of Apollo 11 (June 16–24, 1969) Aldrin made the first lunar landing with Neil Armstrong, and on June 20 became the second person (after Armstrong) to walk on the moon.
After retiring from NASA, Aldrin served (1971–72) as commandant of the Aerospace Research Pilots' School at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif. He retired from the Air Force in 1972 to enter private business and to lecture and consult on space exploration.
"Space travel has many things in common with our journeys here on earth."
• Buzz was born Edwin Eugene Aldrin, Jr. on January 20, 1930 in Montclair,
• In October 1963, Buzz was selected by NASA as one of the early astronauts. In
November 1966, he established a new 5 hour record for Extra-Vehicular Activity in space on the Gemini XII
orbital flight mission and performed one of the first successful space walks.
• Upon returning from the moon, he was presented the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest honor amongst over
50 other distinguished awards and medals from the United States and numerous other countries.
Astronaut & Explorer, walked on moon July 20, 1969. Daniel Cox Medalist March 17, 1970.
Lodge: Montclair #144, Now Newark #7