At the State of Union Address Wednesday, US President Donald Trump honoured former astronaut Edwin ‘Buzz’ Aldrin, along with three veterans.
“This year American astronauts will go back to space on American rockets,” Trump said, after introducing Aldrin to the chamber.
Buzz Aldrin, 89, is the second man to set foot on Moon, nineteen minutes after Neil Armstrong. Aldrin landed on the ‘Sea of Tranquility’ in the Apollo 11 lunar module, Eagle, on July 20, 1969, along with Spacecraft commander Neil Armstrong, becoming one of the first men to land on the Moon. This year, America will celebrate the 50th anniversary of the astonishing feat.
Hailed as an American hero, Aldrin joined the Air Force after graduation and flew 66 combat missions in Korea. He later joined MIT, earning a Doctorate of Science in Astronautics.
In 2017, Aldrin said NASA’s Mars mission should aim to reach new milestones under the Trump presidency. The NASA funding bill, supporting Mars exploration, had set a target of 2033 for an unmanned mission, the Guardian reported.
At the Humans to Mars Summit that year, Aldrin had said: “I think we can all say with confidence that we are closer to Mars today than we have ever been.”
The former astronaut is locked in a legal battle with two of his children who say he is suffering from mental decline. He was absent from a gala celebrating 50th anniversary of the first moon landing, even though his nonprofit space education foundation, ShareSpace Foundation, was a sponsor and he typically is the star attraction, AP reported.
Aldrin had sued his children and a former business manager, accusing them of misusing his credit cards, transferring money from an account and slandering him by saying he has dementia. Only weeks before the lawsuit, his children had filed a petition claiming their father was suffering from memory loss, delusions, paranoia and confusion.