Published July 6, 2011
At a June gathering of astronauts during SpaceFest III held at the Starr Pass Resort in Tucson, Atlantis’ final launch on Friday sparked strong opinions from nearly a dozen Apollo and shuttle astronauts. In October 1963, Apollo 11 astronaut retired Air Force Col. Buzz Aldrin, Ph.D., 81, Los Angeles, Calif., was one of the third group of astronauts named by NASA. He and command pilot James Lovell launched into space Nov. 11, 1966, aboard the Gemini 12 spacecraft, the final mission of the Gemini program. Aldrin served as lunar module pilot for Apollo 11, July 16-24, 1969, and followed Neil Armstrong onto the lunar surface on July 20, 1969, becoming the second man to walk on the moon. Aldrin resigned from NASA in 1971, and has written several books, including "Magnificent Desolation: The Long Journey Home from the Moon," with Ken Abraham, released in 2009.
Courtesy of Scripps Howard Scripps Service