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Space & Astronomy

Buzz Aldrin is evacuated from Antarctica

By T.K. Randall
December 4, 2016 · Comment icon 14 comments

Aldrin speaking at the 2016 Cloud Summit. Image Credit: CC BY-SA 2.0 Gage Skidmore
The Apollo 11 astronaut fell ill just after becoming the oldest person ever to visit the South Pole.
The 86-year-old had been visiting Antarctica along with his son and his manager so that he could spend time with a group of scientists who were studying what it might be like to live on Mars.

"South Pole here I come !" he had written on his Twitter account just before setting off.

Unfortunately though the legendary astronaut ran into difficulties when he started suffering shortness of breath due to altitude sickness and ended up having to be evacuated.

He has since been recovering at a hospital in New Zealand.
"I had been having a great time with the group at White Desert's camp before we ventured further south," he said. "I started to feel a bit short of breath so the staff decided to check my vitals."

"After some examination they noticed congestion in my lungs and that my oxygen levels were low, which indicated symptoms of altitude sickness."

There was one more surprise in store for Aldrin too as, following a visit from NASA Deputy Administrator Dava Newman, he learned that he had actually made it to the South Pole.

At 86 years of age, this makes him the oldest person ever to go there.

"I'm looking forward to getting home soon to spend Christmas with my family and to continue my quest for a permanent settlement on Mars," he said. "You ain't seen nothing yet !"

Source: | Comments (14)

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Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #5 Posted by Lilly 8 years ago
Hey, if I didn't have my glasses on I wouldn't be able to tell who anyone was!
Comment icon #6 Posted by ChaosRose 8 years ago
The guy is a national treasure. Here's hoping he gets well soon. 
Comment icon #7 Posted by geraldnewfie 8 years ago
its the Aliens down there making him sick, they are like why is he here? wasnt it enough being on the moon with us
Comment icon #8 Posted by bmk1245 8 years ago
Any update on Buzz's state? After all, he isn't just national treasure, he is crown diamond.
Comment icon #9 Posted by Derek Willis 8 years ago
One of the biggest ever coincidences is that Buzz's mother's maiden name was "Moon"! Edit: With Buzz being in the news again, I just had to re-watch the time when he whacked Bart Sibrel on the chin!
Comment icon #10 Posted by paperdyer 8 years ago
I hope it's just pneumonia.  It could be the start of congestive heart failure.  At his age, not totally unexpected.  My Dad died of that last year at 92.
Comment icon #11 Posted by Mark56 8 years ago
When you're 86 years old it's probably Okay to go to Wal-Mart every now and then, but the South Pole(unless you have a gifted constitution/metabolism) is pretty much so out of the question.
Comment icon #12 Posted by Lilly 8 years ago
Buzz punching Sibrel is an absolute classic. I really hope Buzz will recover, the man's amazing.
Comment icon #13 Posted by Derek Willis 8 years ago
I once met a newspaper reporter who had briefly interviewed Buzz during the early-1990's. The reporter said he had never met anyone who possesses such presence and charisma. The quality that most struck the reporter was the way Buzz stood perfectly still, with his entire focus on the questions he was being asked. He seemed, so the reporter said, totally confident but without even the slightest hint of arrogance. It will be a sad day when he dies - a genuine legend.  
Comment icon #14 Posted by paperdyer 8 years ago
He looks more like Robert Englund to me. 

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