In 1961, President John F. Kennedy, presented to NASA and the nation a challenge – land a man on the Moon and return him safely to the Earth, before the end of the decade.
Forty-two years ago today, on July 20th, 1969, that challenge was met.
On that day, Neil Armstrong and Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin landed in the Sea of Tranquility with only seconds of fuel to spare. They became the first people to set foot on the moon. Fifteen minutes after Neil Armstrong exited the Lunar Module, Buzz Aldrin descended down the ladder and into the history books.
Did you know the second man to walk on the Moon was from New Jersey? Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin was born in Montclair, New Jersey on January 20th , 1930. He graduated from Montclair High School in 1946. After high school he went on to attend West Point Military Academy and graduated in 1951 earning a Bachelors Degree in Mechanical Engineering.
During the Korean War Buzz flew a total of 66 combat missions.
In 1963 he was selected by NASA to the third astronaut group. His first spaceflight was in 1966 on board Gemini 12, during which he performed the world’s first successful spacewalk. But he hit the history books in 1969 when he flew on Apollo 11 and landed on the moon.
I have had the honor of meeting him and he was kind enough to sign a copy of is latest book and took time to briefly speak to my daughter. He is a class act and one of New Jersey’s greatest sons. Also to date the first and only person from New Jersey to walk on the Moon!!
You can check out Buzz Andrin’s website here.
New Jersey has a rich history with NASA and has contributed many astronauts to the space program. In the coming weeks I hope to briefly write about them each.
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