Updated: January 11, 2013 10:45 AM | By Laura Lanktree

5 Things I Learned In Conversation With Buzz Aldrin

Buzz Aldrin was at the centre of a major marketing lift off this week in New York City


Buzz Aldrin (© Photo courtesy of AXE)

The former Apollo 11 pilot joined AXE in announcing Apollo, their latest line of grooming products, and a coinciding contest that will send 22 lucky men and women from around the world into outer space.

We sat down with the astronaut and learned that there's much more to this 82-year-old than a slick head of white hair and a legendary moonwalk. In fact, from his trip to the moon to his deep sea dive with the Titanic, it's easy to see what all the Buzz is about. 

#1 HE BELIEVES THAT HUMANS WILL SETTLE ON MARS
"I was able to take what I learned at MIT on Earth and apply it to the moon, and now to Mars - that's a great position to be in. Especially when you realize that airplanes first were flown the year my mother was born and now her son is going to be trying to establish the pathway of human beings from earth establishing permanence on another planet in the solar system. That's out-of-this-world. What more could you ask for then to be involved in the evolution of human kind?"

#2 HE ALMOST DIDN'T MAKE IT BACK FROM THE MOON
"We came in from walking around on the moon and took off our backpacks. It was pretty crowded moving around [in the shuttle] and some switches were not protected. So when I'm trying to go to sleep by laying on the floor, I look over at the engine and see a broken circuit breaker. 'I wonder which one that is' [I asked myself] and I look up [and see] 'Engine Arm'. Neither Neil nor I had the brilliance to say 'Houston we have a problem,' but we did tell them we've got a broken circuit breaker." 

#3 HE BELIEVES IN EXTRATERRESTRIAL LIFE…MAYBE
"
There's a yes, no, and a maybe. It's probably somewhere in the yes, but still in the maybe because we haven't yet established firm evidence that we are not the only ones. It seems a little improbable that the sun and the milky way would be the only place to have a solar system. It doesn't make sense scientifically. Have we discovered evidence of it yet? No. Have we discovered evidence of stars and planets? Yes, but when I was born the answer to that was no." 

#4 HE HAS NO REGRETS, BUT ONE THING LEFT ON HIS BUCKET LIST 
"If I had it to do over again, I would make the same major [career] decisions that I did. That's pretty nice to look back and say that. In human relations, I made some mistakes, but that's not unusual. I've looked out the window to see the Titanic under a lot of water, and I've been on a Russian nuclear icebreaker on the North Pole and I complained to somebody recently that I've been up there [points to the sky], down there [points to the floor], I've been to the North Pole—I need to get to the South Pole! And they said, 'we'll get you there and you can drive a Hummer.' That opportunity hasn't materialized yet, and I'm getting tired of waiting!" 

#5 HIS MOST MEMORABLE MOMENT WAS NOT THE FIRST STEP ON THE MOON, BUT...
"Being able to say 'contact light, engine stop', which signified that the most difficult challenge of the space program had just successfully been accomplished by two Americans." 

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