Hello reddit. I enjoyed my previous AMA a few months ago and wanted to come back to answer more of your questions.

I also wanted to raise awareness of my new game, set to be released tomorrow, October 31. It's available for purchase today, and will be out tomorrow as a download on Steam. It is called Buzz Aldrin's Space Program Manager and it allows you to do your own space race to the moon, based off of actual space missions. You can learn more about the game here: http://slitherine.com/games/BA_SPM_Pc

Victoria will be assisting me today. AMA.

retweet: https://twitter.com/reddit_AMA/status/527825769809330177

Edit: All of you have helped bring much-needed emphasis to advancement for science on social media. If you are interested in experiencing what interests me, download Buzz Aldrin's Space Program Manager on Steam tomorrow.

A solar system of thanks to all participants.

Comments: 4841 • Responses: 26  • Date: 

CasanovaWong3269 karma

What was more satisfying, landing on the moon or punching that moon-truther right in the kisser?

BuzzAldrinHere3874 karma


Both created considerable, favorable support of my activities. However, one involved the relationship between human beings, and the other a historic giant leap for mankind.

_SpanishInquisition2173 karma

You probably know about this document which is a speech that Nixon would have read if it was impossible to bring you back to earth. What was it like going somewhere no one had ever been before knowing that you may never come back? Or did that thought not cross your mind because of what you were a part of.

BuzzAldrinHere2744 karma

I think it is expected to prepare significant leaders for all eventualities that might occur. As a member of the crew, we discussed ahead of time, before launch, the probabilities of successful landing, knowing the many things that would allow a successful return, and our nominal guess number was 60% success in landing, but throughout, an overall 95% of returning.

As is typical fighter pilots, the thoughts of non-overall success stimulated our preparation for the solution of all intermediate emergencies.

FletchQQ1273 karma

Hi Buzz.

I read that there was no plan B to get you off the moon in case of equipment failure, and you'd be simply left to die. What was your personal plan if this would of happend?

BuzzAldrinHere3011 karma

To continue trying to fix the problem until the lack of oxygen caused us go to sleep.

shivan211272 karma

What was your state of mind and what were your thoughts when you were flying towards moon? And how did it change, when you landed?

BuzzAldrinHere3120 karma

I was open-minded in anticipation watching the earth grow smaller, the moon grow larger... but all of us were totally surprised when the larger moon totally eclipsed the sun.

And we were in the shadow of the moon.

Satisfactory photographs unfortunately were not produced.

The black sky was different, especially on the surface of the moon. Because from earth, the surrounding light is visible when looking at the night sky. In space, the sun is always affecting the night sky. But on the surface of the moon, the sun's light gave a pronounced velvet-like sheen, such that no stars were visible, especially in the vicinity of the earth. The stars were visible en route, but away from the sun, the stars were very visible, but on the surface of the moon, the ambient light enabled stars to be seen through the telescope but not through the visor cover on the eyes.

ap0r900 karma

Have you ever played Kerbal Space Program?

BuzzAldrinHere952 karma

No... It was many years ago, I think there was a game called Buzz Aldrin's Adventures in Space, something like that - it was a simplified precursor. The eagerly anticipated Space Program Manager, planning future international human activities on the moon and future US-led activities on Mars leading to permanence on the surface, has yet to come.

JordanBrandtFuturist769 karma

Hi Buzz, thanks for visiting our office this week and riding a hoverboard!. We had a few questions after you stopped by.

  • We think a lot about the future of design, what recent technologies have you seen that are most exciting?
  • Robots are revolutionizing a lot of industries, such as Moon Express, a company that is putting a robot on the moon. How are robots going to help us get to Mars?

Thanks for doing the AMA today!

Jordan Brandt, Technology Futurist

BuzzAldrinHere760 karma

Well, personally, I'm personally involved in evolving the special orbital dynamics that facilitate transporting humans between Earth and Mars. It's called cycling orbits. And the next would be - I'm not involved in but very interested - and that is permanent occupation on the surface of Mars. And rotating crews permanently on the lunar surface.

I have a particular interest in Moon Express because my younger son is the president! I am hoping we can develop the large fuel capacity of their spacecraft to depart earth and head at Mars on July 4th, 2019, and land on the moon Phobos. That's the 50th anniversary of the first landing on the Moon, and to demonstrate a private enterprise moon landing, to be able to be a precursor demonstration during a significant historical anniversary, might be used to commit to American-led permanence on Mars within 2 decades. The Moon Express is a non-human mission, of course, but it is leading the way. I think that time exploring and further investigative missions of Mars might stimulate human occupation and return. Human occupation, lengthy surveys of essential landing sites, and returns. This might include a non-human but very humanlike robot that needs to be fed - probably oil, haha! And electricity.

shivan21592 karma

How was it walking in the space suit? Had it tendency to bump you up when you were getting up?

BuzzAldrinHere981 karma

The mobility was limited by the flexibility of the suit, and its operation in 1/6 gravity simulation in neutral buoyancy created too much viscous drag. Actual mobility was quite easier than anticipated.

BuzzAldrinHere841 karma

For much longer treks, the mobility of a rover was essential! A vehicle.

Damani_Ragin497 karma

What will you wear for Halloween tomorrow?

BuzzAldrinHere1442 karma

I've just put out a request for a Buzz Lightyear mask / headpiece !

_Lunar492 karma

What are your thoughts on extraterrestrial life forms?

BuzzAldrinHere1397 karma

As Carl Sagan noted, "extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence." Personally, I strongly believe life forms exist with some abundance throughout the universe. But the tremendous distances involved in the immenseness of the universe make discovery problematic in the near future, and visits by either us or them extremely improbable.

seismicor453 karma

What is your opinion on Voyager 1's recent success of leaving our Solar System?

BuzzAldrinHere744 karma

Well, I think that is a cardinal achievement in the progress of humankind outward, humankind's creations going beyond the solar system.

juliokirk308 karma

Dr. Aldrin, first of all, thanks. All my life I have been fascinated by space, and the fact that we, humans, landed on the moon. Even when I was growing up and couldn't quite understand how we did that, I never doubted. And I am proud, not as an american, because I am not one, but as human. The power and importance of the events you were part of, Dr. Aldrin, are not limited by borders and cultural differences. Apollo 11 was, indeed, "one giant leap for mankind".

Astronauts like yourself, Mr. Armstrong and Mr. Collins are some of the few people I'd call heroes. And I love reddit for giving the chance of saying this to one of these heroes.

My question: I've read that cosmonauts in the Soviet Union were tracking the progress of Apollo 11, and that they celebrated when Mr. Armstrong and you stepped off the LM. Do you have any knowledge of this?

Edit: Dr. Aldrin.

BuzzAldrinHere271 karma

I do know that a Russian spacecraft was en route to the moon with the probable mission of returning, robotically, a small sample of the moon to earth. However, it crashed on descent. The 30th anniversary of Sputnik's display in Moscow strangely seemed to include the Soyuz Apollo mission, but hardly a mention of the human landing on the moon.

shivan21276 karma

Do you play video games?

BuzzAldrinHere600 karma

I'm not even very good at Pac-Man!

And I'm trying to understand the great fascination with the lack of realism in most games that involve competitiveness resulting in violence.

Fortunately, the challenge of Aldrin's Space Program Manager involves the participant first researching what's actually needed. But it was the challenge and competition, why did the competition fail, what were the significant changes that made the final well-managed program successful... there will always be refinements in retrospect that should promote satisfaction in the game-player, that actually would be useful in future exploration.

I hope the game will be translated into Chinese and other international languages, as the US in the future does not compete but rather works with all other nations in their advancements in the same subjects: science, technology, engineering, art, and mathematics.

jakielim246 karma

Do you plan on watching Interstellar?

Edit: Two years in reddit and this is the first time someone actually answered me. Thanks Buzz!

BuzzAldrinHere395 karma

I sure do. It's come highly recommended. And I regrettably missed the premiere of the movie about Stephen Hawking, The Theory of Everything.

roughracing237 karma

Dr. Aldrin- Long shot that this question gets answered, but here goes. My grandfather Bill O'Donnell worked in the NASA HQ Public Affairs Office from 1962 to 1981 and his stories about working during the Apollo missions inspired me to study Mechanical/Aerospace Engineering and pursue a career in the spaceflight industry. He fondly spoke of you and your fellow astronauts as colleagues and friends.

He passed away in 2011, and I wanted to ask: Do you remember working with my grandfather, and do you have any memories or stories you can share?

edit: Link to his obituary for anyone interested. Amazing guy who had an incredible career.

BuzzAldrinHere255 karma

Well, I should have come across him because of the post-flight public exposures, following Gemini 12 in 1966 and world-wide travel for Apollo 11 in the fall of 1969.

seismicor209 karma

When have you realized the huge significance of your journey for the first time?

BuzzAldrinHere351 karma

Well, I realized that before the mission, and wanted the symbolism in the form of our mission to include the national, worldwide pledge for advancement. But I was fully satisfied approaching a landing on the moon, especially when training personnel suggested the eagle carry the olive branch of peace. Following a successful landing, a personal gesture of thanks was achieved by the limited spiritual sacrament of personal communion - I asked people of the world to give thanks in their own way. And my way was with a symbolic wafer.

RogerSmith123456177 karma

The most important question of the day: What is your favorite food?

BuzzAldrinHere370 karma

Hot coffee for the first time in space. It wasn't Tang. But the mini-shrimp were edible when squeezed through the plastic bag!

Pantlmn169 karma

Did you like Bryan Cranston's portrayal of you?

BuzzAldrinHere242 karma

Very good training for him! Enjoyable and welcome publicity for me.

odsdaniel164 karma

You are in really good shape. What's your daly exercise routine?

BuzzAldrinHere627 karma

Reading my email and the newspaper in bed, having breakfast.

However, I do walk rapidly through the airport!

DrPeterVanNostrand152 karma

Hello Buzz. Question: Did you get to meet Yuri Gagarin or other cosmonauts back in the day? If so, what were they like? If not, would you have liked to?

BuzzAldrinHere250 karma

I, like many others, would have liked to have met Yuri Gagarin, but I did enjoy presenting an award - an Explorer's Club award - to Valentina Tereshkova after having hosted two cosmonauts Andriyan Nikolayev and Vitaly Sevastyanov, and of course everyone enjoys the boisterous overbearing humor of Alexey Leonov.

suznebula151 karma

Do you think NASA's rocket explosion this week will hurt them or will be a sign to Congress that they need more funding?

BuzzAldrinHere286 karma

Well, I hope the latter is true!

But for the reason that to prevent failures, that instead avoid short-term political and other causes that produce short-range objectives, such as the M (Asteroid Retrieval Mission), and the heritage component (old stuff), mandated by politically-motivated Congressional laws.

Similarly, absurdly, policies such as forbidding NASA employees to speak to Chinese space personnel instead of the U.S. instituting a Chinese cooperation in LEO (Low Earth Orbit) and beyond, for human missions for peaceful purposes.

ClockworkMouse123 karma

What inspires you?

BuzzAldrinHere271 karma

On the one hand, it was my commitment at 17 years old to serve my country at West Point. On the more futuristic end, to support moving systems for all exploration and all innovation for the benefit of humankind throughout the universe (*please read my science fiction, Encounter with Tiber).

toothferret96 karma

What's your favorite dinosaur?

BuzzAldrinHere340 karma

I haven't met him yet!

Throne_of_Justice95 karma

Dr Aldrin.

How do you feel about the commercialization of space? With private space companies being in the spotlight recently especially with the antares rocket failure yesterday and the NASA contracts awarded to spaceX and Boeing where do you feel that private companies fit into our future in space?

BuzzAldrinHere126 karma

I believe that just like the government US mail delivery, by aircraft, stimulated the government assisted development of the world wide airline industries and other aviation evolution, the pioneering government (and still, in some countries) the military influence on space progressive development is very natural and most economical, and I believe in the present situation the elimination of monopolies between large companies and the overall reliance on government continuation of extensive rocket evolution has stalled, to the great detriment of the U.S. heavy lift rocket for human missions to Mars.

YllwSwtrStrshp72 karma

Mr. Aldrin! Thanks so much for doing this AMA. I love the work you do as an ambassador for science to the public.

In 2010 you worked with Snoop Dogg to make a song, Rocket Experience. What was that like, and will we ever see a return of your hip-hop alter ego, Doc Rendezvous?

BuzzAldrinHere122 karma

Oh. I very much like your remembering that timely combining popular music with historic events. And its participants, especially the use of your descriptive word of "ambassador." I am presently engaged in a search for the lyrics of "Get your Butt to Mars." Soembody is going to make a lot of money with the next version of Frank Sinatra's "Fly Me to the Moon!"

My rap will be outmoded by then.

CaptainChewbacca5 karma

Mr. Aldrin, I'm a science teacher and I have this poster of you and all the Apollo astronauts on my wall. Every year I try to tell kids about what you did and how much it means to humanity.

Is there any message you have for children, or anything I could say to them to give them hope? There's no longer excitement for discovery. What can I do?

BuzzAldrinHere8 karma

Encourage the understanding and celebrating of the achievements in the past, approaching the 50th Anniversary of Man's First Landing on the Moon.

This could be an ideal time for a reasonable president to make a Mars commitment that would go down in history.