Edwin E. “Buzz” Aldrin Jr. (b. 1930) was born in Montclair, New Jersey. He attended the United States Military Academy at West Point and served in the Air Force, flying combat missions during the Korean War. Following the war and service in Germany, he earned a doctorate in aeronautics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. In 1963, Aldrin joined NASA’s astronaut corps. Three years later, he orbited the Earth as a part of the Gemini 12 mission and became the first man to successfully attempt a spacewalk. His most famous mission came in 1969, when, as a part of the Apollo 11 mission, Aldrin walked on the moon with fellow astronaut Neil Armstrong. Upon returning to Earth, he travelled the world in celebration of Apollo 11’s successful moon landing. Aldrin resigned from NASA in 1971 and from the Air Force two years later. In the years since, Aldrin has worked to develop rocket systems and advocate for expanded space travel by the United States, especially to Mars. Aldrin has also authored a number of books, including Return to Earth (1973) and Magnificent Desolation (2009)—both autobiographies—as well as children’s books and his forthcoming work, Mission to Mars: My Vision for Space Exploration (2013).