Buzz Aldrin was one of the first two humans to land on the Moon – something he achieved as lunar module pilot for Apollo 11, the first manned Moon landing mission in July 1969. He performed the world’s first successful spacewalk (and he also took the first selfie in space). He logged 289 hours and 53 minutes in space between the Gemini and Apollo programmes.
Prior to his NASA selection in 1963, Aldrin entered the US Air Force in 1951 where he received the distinguished flying cross for his military service. He returned home in 1953 to pursue a PHD in aeronautics and astronautics. This is where he earned the nickname "Dr Rendezvous" for his thesis subject on "Line-of-sight-guidance techniques for manned orbital rendezvous", a study that explored bringing piloted spacecraft into close proximity with each other. It was his specialised study of rendezvous that helped him win entry into the space programme shortly after graduating.
Aldrin is one of the world's most travelled men, having been to the North and South pole, and he's an advocate of universal exploration: "I know the sky is not the limit, because there are footprints on the Moon – and I made some of them."
Aldrin, Neil Armstrong and Michael Collins received worldwide recognition and admiration after returning from the Moon and won the Presidential Medal of Freedom. In the years after his space exploration, he worked with NASA and other organisations to advance developments in space technology.
His iconic power has had an impact on popular culture and advertising – Hollywood brought his experiences to life in Apollo 11, Apollo 13 and Moonshot; and he has appeared in top shows such as The Simpsons and The Big Bang Theory. Aldrin's partnered with top brands such as Omega, Louis Vuitton, Swiss Tourism and most recently Quaker Oats.
He is also an established author who has published nine books including an autobiography named Magnificent Desolation: The Long Journey Home from the Moon and more recently a children’s book named Welcome to Mars: Making a Home on the Red Planet.
Buzz Aldrin calls himself a Global Statesman for Space and continues to be both a pioneer and advocate for human space exploration.
In this final instalment of a five-part series on infinite influencers, Campaign talks to advertising execs about Aldrin’s iconic power, how he has inspired millions and how he can be a powerful force for brands.