This post originally appeared on The Lab NYC

Buzz Aldrin is a National Treasure and American icon. As the second man to step foot on the moon, and one of the Astronauts of the famed Apollo 11 mission, Buzz Aldrin introduced the world to another level of imagination. The Apollo 11’s moon landing followed by Neil Armstrong’s “One small step for man, One giant leap for mankind” became the quote that helped propel generations of Americans into space and scientific superiority.

From BuzzAldrin.com:

“Selected by NASA in 1963 into the third group of astronauts, Aldrin was the first with a doctorate and became known as “Dr. Rendezvous.” The docking and rendezvous techniques he devised for spacecraft in Earth and lunar orbit became critical to the success of the Gemini and Apollo programs, and are still used today. He also pioneered underwater training techniques, as a substitute for zero gravity flights, to simulate spacewalking. In 1966 on the Gemini 12 orbital mission, Buzz performed the world’s first successful spacewalk, overcoming prior difficulties experienced by Americans and Russians during extra-vehicular activity (EVA), and setting a new EVA record of 5 ½ hours. On July 20, 1969, Buzz and Neil Armstrong made their historic Apollo 11 moonwalk, becoming the first two humans to set foot on another world. They spent 21 hours on the lunar surface and returned with 46 pounds of moon rocks. An estimated 600 million people – at that time, the world’s largest television audience in history – witnessed this unprecedented heroic endeavor.

Upon returning from the moon, Buzz was decorated with the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest American peacetime award. A 45-day international goodwill tour followed, where he received numerous distinguished awards and medals from 23 other countries. Named after Buzz are Asteroid “6470 Aldrin” and the “Aldrin Crater” on the moon. Buzz and his Apollo 11 crew have four “stars” on each corner of Hollywood and Vine streets on the renowned Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Since retiring from NASA and the Air Force, Col. Aldrin has remained at the forefront of efforts to ensure America’s continued leadership in human space exploration. He devised a master plan for missions to Mars known as the “Aldrin Mars Cycler” – a spacecraft system with perpetual cycling orbits between Earth and Mars. Dr. Aldrin has received three US patents for his schematics of a modular space station, Starbooster reusable rockets, and multi-crew modules for space flight. He founded Starcraft Boosters, Inc., a rocket design company, and the ShareSpace Foundation, a nonprofit devoted to advancing space education, exploration and affordable space flight experiences for all. In June of 2011 Buzz started a new company, Buzz Aldrin Enterprises, LLC to promote his brand and oversee all aspects of his public appearances, media, licensing, endorsements and efforts to promote the future of the space program.

On November 16, 2011, Dr. Aldrin was awarded the Congressional Gold Medal, the nation’s highest civilian honor, along with the other Apollo 11 crew members, Neil Armstrong and Michael Collins, and Mercury Seven astronaut, John Glenn, for their significant contribution to society and for blazing the trail of exploration.”

Here “The King Of Kamelot” chats #InTheLab with a true American hero Buzz Aldrin via Spreecast to talk about his incredible career and accomplishments, his new bestseller “Mission To Mars”, his thoughts on why space exploration is vital for America, the significance of the Apollo 11 landing on the moon, his thoughts on Obama’s administration’s approach to NASA, and so much more!

Here is Buzz Aldrin on NBC’s “Meet The Press” and National Geographic right before chatting with me #InTheLab:

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