The Atlantic

What’s Going On With Buzz Aldrin?

The Apollo astronaut is suing his children and longtime manager—but no one can agree on the truth.
Source: Eduardo Munoz / Reuters

Buzz Aldrin, the second human to walk on the moon—to press bootprints into the dusty surface and gaze upon the horizon as it curved against the blackness of the space—is now embroiled in something much less awe-inspiring. He’s suing his kids.

“I really felt that it really didn’t need to come to this,” the Apollo astronaut said in an interview with Good Morning America on Tuesday. “It’s the saddest thing that ever happened in my family. But as I’ve seen, family is forever and I will forever be trying to patch it up.”

To understand the lawsuit requires taking stock of what Aldrin has done since July 20, 1969, when he and Neil Armstrong pulled open the hatch of their lunar module and made history. Unlike Armstrong, Aldrin embraced the public attention back on Earth, fueled by what seemed to be an almost messianic desire to promote space exploration. He flew around the world to give speeches, wrote nearly a dozen books, and made many cameos on television shows. He talked about his plan to get humans to Mars to anyone who would listen, including Barack Obama on Air Force One. He T-shirts that say in 2010 was done, in part, to “inspire interest in the space program,” he explained in one of his memoirs. Just last week, Aldrin, now 88 years old, was at the White House for a meeting of the National Space Council.

You're reading a preview, sign up to read more.

More from The Atlantic

The Atlantic5 min readPolitics
Trump’s Guardrails Are Gone
The president’s more pliant senior advisers might end up indulging his ultimately self-sabotaging behavior.
The Atlantic3 min read
The Disciplines Where No Black People Earn Ph.D.s
In more than a dozen academic fields—largely STEM related—not a single black student earned a doctoral degree in 2017.
The Atlantic10 min readPsychology
Under the Depression Helmet
The past two weeks have been frenetic for Bre Hushaw, who is now known to millions of people as the girl in the depression helmet. Hushaw has been hearing from people all around the world who want to try it, or at least want to know how it works. Her