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Among The Stars | Col. Buzz Aldrin

Bro. Edwin E. “Buzz” Aldrin, 33°, was the son of Edwin Aldrin Sr., a career military man, and Marion Gaddys. Bro. Aldrin graduated from Montclair High School in 1947 and went on to receive an appointment at the United States Military Academy at West Point, New York. He graduated third in his class in 1951 with a Bachelor of Science in mechanical engineering. After graduation, he was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the U.S. Air Force and was a Fighter Pilot who flew 66 combat missions during the Korean War. When he returned home from the War he earned a Doctorate of Science in Astronautics in 1963 from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. That same year Aldrin was selected to be a member of NASA’s third crop of Astronauts.

Bro. Aldrin was a member of two missions before the famed Apollo 11, those were Gemini 9A and Gemini 12. During the Gemini 12 mission, he was confirmed as a pilot for NASA and set a record for extravehicular activity, which are actions that take place outside a spacecraft such as spacewalks and moonwalks. Aldrin’s record of 7 hours and 52 minutes stood until it was surpassed on Apollo 14, but it still set the precedent that astronauts could work outside a spacecraft. On July 29, 1969, Apollo 11 made their first lunar landing, and the next day Buzz Aldrin became the second person to walk on the moon. While walking on the surface he described the moon as “magnificent desolation.” After Apollo 11, Aldrin worked with NASA until 1971. Afterward, Bro. Aldrin was assigned as Commandant of the U.S. Air Force Test Pilot School at Edwards Air Force Base in California. He served in this capacity until March 1972, when he retired from Active Duty after 21 years of service.

Post-retirement, Bro. Aldrin has remained an active supporter of space travel. He has worked with the Florida Institute of Technology and engineers at Purdue University to develop technology and plans to facilitate a manned mission to Mars. Bro. Aldrin currently resides in Satellite Beach, Florida.

Brother Aldrin is a member of both Montclair Lodge No. 44 in New Jersey and Clear Lake Lodge No. 1417 in Seabrook, Texas. Additionally he is a member of Scottish Rite in the Valley of Houston where he received his 33°, and the Ararat Shrine Temple in Kansas City, MO. During the Apollo 11 mission, Bro. Aldrin carried a hand made silk flag (pictured on the left) bearing the words “Supreme Council, 33° Southern Jurisdiction, USA.” He also carried a proclamation from the Grand Lodge of Texas issued by then Grand Master J. Guy Smith. The act of Aldrin carrying this proclamation eventually inspired the Chartering of Tranquility Lodge #2000. Named after the landing site of Apollo 11, Tranquility Moon Base.

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