Spaceflight Insider

Apollo 11’s Buzz Aldrin evacuated from South Pole

Apollo 11's Buzz Aldrin was evacuated during a tour of the South Pole on Thursday, Dec. 1. Photo Credit: Mark Usciak / SpaceFlight Insider

Apollo 11’s Buzz Aldrin was evacuated during a tour of the South Pole Thursday, Dec. 1. Photo Credit: Mark Usciak / SpaceFlight Insider

Apollo 11’s Lunar Module Pilot, Buzz Aldrin fell ill during a tour of the South Pole and was evacuated out of the South Pole to McMurdo Station under the care of a doctor. The emergency took place on Thursday, Dec. 1 (the event appears to have taken place at around 11:30 UTC). 

In a statement from White Desert, the South Pole tour operator, the following information was provided:

A White Desert client, Buzz Aldrin, has been evacuated from South Pole. Mr Aldrin was visiting the Pole as part of a tourist group and while there his condition deteriorated. As a precaution, following discussion between the White Desert doctor and the US Antarctic Program (USAP) doctor, Mr Aldrin, accompanied by a member of his team, was evacuated on the first available flight out of the South Pole to McMurdo with the USAP under the care of a USAP doctor. His condition was described as stable upon White Desert doctor’s hand-over to the USAP medial team.

White Desert would like to express their gratitude to USAP at this time for their support.

His family have been informed of the situation. This flight is still in progress and there will be further updates when additional information is available.

At 2 p.m. EST (19:00 GMT), Aldrin’s official website reported he successfully landed at Christchurch, New Zealand, and was transferred to the hospital for examination:

He is currently has fluid in his lungs but is responding well to antibiotics and being kept in overnight for observation. His condition is stable and his manager, who is currently with him, described him being in good spirits.

Aldrin flew into space twice – his first trip began on Nov. 11, 1966, when he and Jim Lovell launched atop a Titan II GLV rocket from Cape Canaveral’s LC-19. Three years later, on July 16, 1969, Aldrin launched with his Apollo 11 crewmates, Neil Armstrong and Michael Collins, from Kennedy Space Center’s Launch Complex 39A. Three days later, Aldrin and Armstrong landed on the Moon’s Mare Tranquillitatis (Latin for Sea of Tranquility). They spent two hours and 31 minutes on the lunar surface.



Jason Rhian spent several years honing his skills with internships at NASA, the National Space Society and other organizations. He has provided content for outlets such as: Aviation Week & Space Technology,, The Mars Society and Universe Today.

Reader Comments

Buzz was the most informed astronaut I have worked with. I am hopeful his recovery is as fast and efficient as he he is!!

Wishing him all the best!

⚠ Commenting Rules

Post Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *