This week, Apollo astronaut Buzz Aldrin – one of only twelve people to have walked on the Moon, and the second to do so – has been visiting the UK to promote his new book, No Dream Is Too High: Life Lessons From A Man Who Walked On The Moon. When I checked his website to see if he was having any events within reach of me, I was very excited to see that there would be a talk and book signing just outside Blackburn, very close to where I live!
So last night, my dad and I went down to see the talk. The whole thing worked a little differently from the Space Lectures I’ve previously attended in Pontefract – Buzz was accompanied on stage by his manager, Christina Korp, who helped guide everyone through the talk and accompanying Powerpoint presentation.
Buzz talked about much of his life story: his childhood, his service as a fighter pilot in the Korean War, his spaceflights on Gemini 12 and Apollo 11, and his plans for flying to Mars – the Ares mission plan used in Andy Weir’s The Martian takes some inspiration from his “cycling spacecraft” ideas. He was very light-hearted and quite a joker: he took particular pride in taking the first space selfie, during a standup EVA on Gemini 12, all the way back in 1966. In the Q & A that followed the talk, Buzz answered questions particularly from children: there was the inevitable “How did you pee?”, but also “How do you react to people who think the moon landings were faked?” Buzz responded just as he did with one such infuriating man in the past: by throwing a punch.
Thank you to Buzz Aldrin Enterprises and Silverdell Books for a great evening!