Posted in Images Military History

Buzz Aldrin hanging around

Buzz Aldrin during aircraft egress training at Perrin Air Force Base, Texas in 1968. Did you know that Aldrin graduated third in his class in at the U.S. Military Academy (Class of ’47) — the same year the Air Force was established as a standalone service. After earning his wings, Aldrin headed for Korea with the 16th Fighter-Interceptor Squadron, flying 66 combat missions in an F-86 Sabre and shooting down two enemy MiGs. He later flew nuclear-capable F-100 Super Sabres out of Bitburg Air Base (West Germany) with the 22d Fighter Squadron. (NASA image)
Posted in Military History

Buzz Aldrin’s lunar communion

While looking into the food that the Apollo 11 astronauts ate during their lunar mission, I learned that not only did Buzz Aldrin — a Presbyterian elder — read Bible verses during journey, but also took communion once he and Neil Armstrong landed on the moon.

“I would like to take this opportunity to ask every person listening in — whoever and wherever they may be — to pause for a moment and contemplate the events of the past few hours and to give thanks in his or her own way,” Aldrin radioed back to Earth. He then read John 15:5 silently to himself from a 3-by-5-inch notecard. “I am the vine, you are the branches. Whoever remains in me, and I in him, will bear much fruit; for you can do nothing without me.” Once Aldrin completed his reading, he poured his wine and ate his bread.

The first food and drink on the moon was communion. Continue reading “Buzz Aldrin’s lunar communion”

Posted in Images Military History

Sea of Tranquility

Apollo 11 lunar module pilot Buzz Aldrin carries science modules to their deployment area after landing on the moon on July 20, 1969. Good news: The laser ranging retroreflector Aldrin carries in his right hand is so accurate that NASA scientists could measure the distance between the earth and moon to within one millimeter. Bad news: we have learned that each year, the moon drifts 1.5 inches further away from the earth.
Posted in Military History

Just where did Apollo 11 land?

Today marks the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 mission. If you are out admiring the moon tonight and find yourself wondering just where “the Eagle has landed,” look towards the southwest edge of Mare Tranquillitatis — the Sea of Tranquility. More specifically, this map I came across this map today (featured image above, signed by several Apollo crew members) shows us where that is.

My arrow marks the approximate landing site of Apollo 11.

While we are on the subject, a few things you may or may not have known about the Apollo 11 astronauts: Before becoming the first human to set foot on the moon, Neil Armstrong was a Naval aviator, flying 78 combat missions in Korea. On an armed reconnaissance mission southwest of Wonson, a cable (which the North Koreans would string up as booby traps for U.S. pilots) sheared six feet off his wing during a bombing run, causing Armstrong to limp his mortally wounded F9F Panther back to friendly skies in South Korea. The future astronaut bailed out over the water, which it turns out had been mined, but the winds blew him safely into a rice paddy. Continue reading “Just where did Apollo 11 land?”

Posted in Real American Heroes

Buzz Aldrin’s Second Distinguished Flying Cross citation

THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

THIS IS TO CERTIFY THAT
THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
AUTHORIZED BY ACT OF CONGRESS JULY 2, 1926 HAS
AWARDED

THE DISTINGUISHED FLYING CROSS

TO

EDWIN E. (BUZZ) ALDRIN, UNITED STATES AIR FORCE

FOR HEROISM
WHILE PARTICIPATING IN AERIAL FLIGHT

CITATION:

The President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress, July 2, 1926, takes pleasure in presenting a Bronze Oak Leaf Cluster in lieu of a Second Award of the Distinguished Flying Cross to Lieutenant Colonel Edwin E. (Buzz) Aldrin, Jr., United States Air Force, for extraordinary achievement while participating in aerial flight as Astronaut with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, from 11 November 1966 to 15 November 1966. Continue reading “Buzz Aldrin’s Second Distinguished Flying Cross citation”