He answers personal questions frankly, including how before the Apollo 11 mission he talked to
He says he still resents being introduced at public functions as the second person to walk on the moon. With Armstrong sitting beside him four years ago, he told an audience that he was second on the moon but the first to pee there.
"We astronauts all have our firsts," Aldrin said. "Neil has his. I have mine."
Aldrin was the
In just the past few days, he was featured in a CNN story about space tourism, spoke at the Clinton Center in
He lands in Hutchinson this weekend, 44 years after he and Armstrong landed on the Sea of Tranquility. At 83, he's got another book out, "Mission to Mars," pleading with the U.S. to go to the red planet, arguing in chapter after detailed chapter how he has developed a cost-effective way to do it.
Aldrin flew 66 combat missions and shot down two enemy fighter jets in the Korean War. He earned a doctorate in astronautics at
He had by far the best space walk before the moon landings, on the Gemini 12 mission. Fellow astronauts, in their own books, have said he is brilliant.
Aldrin "came flapping into my office ? like an angry stork" before the Apollo 11 mission in 1969, arguing that Aldrin and not Armstrong should be the first to step on the moon, Cernan wrote.
"Offensive and ridiculous," Cernan wrote. "How Neil put up with such nonsense for so long before ordering Buzz to stop making a fool of himself is beyond me."
"I ended up being accused of trying to overshadow my commander, and that was not my intent at all," Aldrin said of this episode. He still thinks he has a point.
In all previous Gemini and Apollo space walk missions, he said, the junior member of the crew trained to make the dangerous space walk because the mission commander had his hands full training to fly the spacecraft.
No one had ever landed on the moon before. It was dangerous; Armstrong would pilot a craft that had no wings in a place where there was no air.
"It was delaying our training ? so I approached Neil and said that I felt it was delaying," he said. "And that didn't result in a commitment to see that a decision was made. So I went to the head of the Apollo program office and said we needed a decision to be made. ? Shortly after that, there was the correct decision.
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