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The Conquest of Space
Leadership and crisis management
On 20th July 1969, Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin made the historic Apollo 11 landing, becoming the first humans to set foot on the moon. The heroic endeavour was witnessed by the largest television audience in history.
Aldrin was born in New Jersey in 1930, the son of an aviation pioneer. After receiving his wings at West Point, he became a jet fighter pilot and flew combat missions in Korea. He then earned a doctorate in astronautics from MIT, devising techniques that would later be used in docking with Russian cosmonauts.
Shortly after being selected by NASA to join the early group of astronauts, Buzz established a record for extra-vehicular activity on the Gemini 12 orbital flight. Three years later came Apollo 11, followed by a worldwide goodwill tour and countless awards. He eventually became head of the Test Pilot School; in all Buzz logged 4,500 flying hours, 290 of which were in space.
Since retiring, Buzz has remained at the forefront of efforts in space exploration. He has created a concept known as The Cycler, a master system designed to orbit perpetually between Earth and Mars. He has also patented a permanent space station.
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