26 May Buzz Aldrin signs books, meets hundreds of people
GLENDALE – People don’t often get the chance to meet someone whose name has been etched in history books as part of a life-changing event for the planet. That’s why hundreds of people packed into the Barnes and Noble bookstore in Glendale to see legendary astronaut, Buzz Aldrin.
“This man is history in the flesh,” Ron Curry, a customer, said. “He stepped on the moon. You can’t beat that.”
Aldrin appeared to promote his latest book, “Mission to Mars”, which outlines his views on current trajectory of the U.S. Space Program.
“I’m concerned about the future of our country,” Aldrin said.
He also helped promote a non-profit organization called the Big Brain Club which is designed to celebrate students succeeding in academics. It was founded by Radio Personality Dom Testa who professes the mantra, “Smart is cool.” Testa helped arrange for Aldrin’s appearance. Part of the proceeds from the book sale will support the Big Brain Club.
Aldrin and his book’s co-author, Leonard David, conducted a discussion for the crowd talking about his various things, especially his experience as the second man to walk on the moon.
“It’s slow and it’s dusty, but it makes for beautiful boot prints,” Aldrin said.
When asked if he wanted to stay on the moon longer, the former astronaut joked with the crowd.
“I like to be able to breathe oxygen,” Aldrin said.
Aldrin also talked about his concerns about America’s dip in science education and its role as an international leader in technology.
“We were at the top,” Aldrin said. “We ain’t there anymore.”
Aldrin also expressed concern that if the United States is serious about sending a mission to Mars, doing so on trimmed budgets is tough.
“How can we possible go to Mars on a half a percent,” Aldrin said. “A highly supported, let’s say aggressive, high-level activity, would’ve gotten us to Mars in the 80s.”
Krista Reed waited with the crowd to meet Aldrin and hear his take on things.
“It was definitely strong opinions,” Reed said.
Aldrin is one of only 12 people to walk on the moon in Earth’s history. He also created many of the protocols used by NASA in spacewalks.
“We thought it was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and thought it would be an incredible experience to come witness,” Reed said. “I can’t even put into words – just so incredible actually meeting somebody that was on the moon.”