buzz aldrin thunderbirds melbourne air space show

Buzz Aldrin Returns To The Air, Oldest Man To Fly With USAF Thunderbirds

The skies has been clamoring for Buzz Aldrin’s return and he is back, although a little lower than the moon this time, to be the oldest man to fly with the USAF Thunderbirds.

Neil Armstrong’s name certainly has a left an impression on everyone’s minds, but Buzz Aldrin is a very close second, being the second man to walk on the moon. If we’re talking about setting records, however, Buzz Aldrin was the first man to urinate while on the moon, if that counts, as reported by Gizmodo.

Buzz Aldrin walking on the moon [Photo courtesy of NASA via Wikimedia Commons | AS11-40-5903]
Buzz Aldrin walking on the moon [Photo courtesy of NASA via Wikimedia Commons | AS11-40-5903]

On the subject of setting records, Buzz Aldrin just set his latest record, this time for being the oldest man to fly with the US Air Force Thunderbirds on Sunday, April 2, 2017, Florida Today reports.

Buzz Aldrin, 87, flew with the USAF Thunderbirds as the oldest man to fly with the Air Force during the Melbourne Air & Space Show at the Melbourne International Airport. Aldrin joined the USAF Thunderbirds aerial demonstration team as they flew in the diamond formation over the Kennedy Space Center.

Not known to few, Aldrin’s flight with the Thunderbirds is a return to the skies for the retired pilot. Apart from being a famed astronaut who joined the historical Apollo 11 flight that put man on the moon, Buzz Aldrin is also a retired U.S. Air Force colonel. He served in the U.S. Air Force during the Korean War and flew 66 combat missions in the F-86 Sabre.

After his stint at NASA, Aldrin returned to the U.S. Air Force and was assigned as Commandant of the U.S. Air Force Test Pilot School. Since retiring from NASA, Buzz Aldrin has been a staunch supporter of space exploration and sending expeditions to Mars.

Buzz Aldrin’s return to the cockpit with the USAF Thunderbirds was indeed a momentous occasion, as the Air Force celebrated its 70th anniversary this year. In a statement, via AL, the Air Force says the following about flying Buzz Aldrin at the Melbourne Air & Space Show.

“He is a true American hero and pioneer. We are proud of his accomplishments and the legacy he represents every day.”

The Melbourne Air & Space Show was held from April 1 to 2 and the USAF Thunderbirds joined the program in both days. They had the honor to fly with Buzz Aldrin on the second day, and prepped him for flight just before 10 a.m. Buzz Aldrin was in the air with the Thunderbirds for about 20 minutes of exhilarating flight exhibitions before landing. He received a round of applause as he flew past the main staging area.

If you failed to catch Buzz Aldrin at the Melbourne Air & Space Show, or would like to see him in his element, which is space exploration, you can still grab the chance and attend the upcoming conference held by the International Space University (ISU) in June.

According to Silicon Republic, Buzz Aldrin will be arriving in Cork, Ireland, as chancellor of the International Space University to mark its 30th edition of the Space Studies Program (SSP17). The ISU celebrations will kick off on June 26 at the Cork Institute of Technology, where Aldrin will be making an address.

ISU says this about the conference.

“Irish companies and researchers have distinguished themselves in NASA and the European Space Agency programmes by developing for the latter, innovative maritime services using satellite derived data in areas as diverse as marine renewables, fisheries protection, aquaculture and tourism.”

As the 2017 Melbourne Air & Space Show closed with Buzz Aldrin and the Thunderbirds, the exhibition will again be returning next year on March 17 to 18. You can check their official website for more information about the Air & Space Show, tickets, and dates.

[Featured image by Kevin Winter/Getty Images for Spike TV]

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