87ºF

Moonwalking astronaut Buzz Aldrin celebrates 90th birthday

Aldrin made history on Apollo 11 mission

Dr. Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin, one of the first men to walk on the moon, admiring a Flexjet Challenger 300 cockpit before flying to Huntsville, AL for the Apollo 11 homecoming celebration on Wednesday, July 17, 2019 in Burbank, Calif.
Dr. Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin, one of the first men to walk on the moon, admiring a Flexjet Challenger 300 cockpit before flying to Huntsville, AL for the Apollo 11 homecoming celebration on Wednesday, July 17, 2019 in Burbank, Calif. (Mark Von Holden/AP Images for Flexjet)

Legendary astronaut Buzz Aldrin celebrated his 90th birthday on Monday, commemorating the occasion with a message to his 1.5 million Twitter followers.

Aldrin made history as 600 million people watched him and his fellow crew member Neil Armstrong become the first two humans to set foot on the moon on July 20, 1969.

Born Jan. 20, 1930, Aldrin grew up in Montclair, New Jersey and joined the famous Apollo 11 crew because of his specialized study of rendezvous.

Before his astronaut career, however, Aldrin entered the U.S. Air Force in 1951 where he became a fighter pilot and flew in 66 combat missions in Korea. He was decorated with the Distinguished Flying Cross for his service in the Korean War.

Once he finished his tour, he went on to get a doctorate of science in astronautics at MIT, which led him to the career that would make him one of the most recognized people in history.

After his famous moonwalk, Aldrin went to work as an astronaut for 21 years and then retired from active duty to return to the Air Force for a managerial role.

1969: Apollo 11 successfully makes the first manned landing on the moon in the Sea of Tranquility. Americans Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin became the first humans to walk on the lunar surface almost seven hours later.
1969: Apollo 11 successfully makes the first manned landing on the moon in the Sea of Tranquility. Americans Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin became the first humans to walk on the lunar surface almost seven hours later. (NASA)

Since the Apollo 11 mission, Aldrin has published several books, including two autobiographies and a children’s book. He remains an avid advocate for space exploration.

Last year marked the 50th anniversary of NASA’s Apollo program and Kennedy Space Center commemorated the first manned mission to the moon by unveiling a statue portraying Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins in their space suits.

The statues are located in the Moon Tree Garden and show the three Apollo 11 astronauts gazing toward the launch pad of their historic mission.

Buzz Aldrin Ventures created a page where fans can send a birthday message to Aldrin here.