28 August 2016: Former astronaut Buzz Aldrin, one of the first two humans to land on the Moon nearly fifty years ago, is landing at Kathmandu’s Tribhuvan International Airport on September 4. While in Nepal, the moon-walker is due to participate in two separate programmes during which he will be sharing his experience of travelling to the Moon with local science enthusiasts.
Mr Aldrin, who along with his mission commander Neil Armstrong, set foot on the Moon on 21 July 1969 becoming one of the most familiar names in the history science and mankind. He is visiting Nepal on invitation of Everest Science Centre Nepal (ESCN) based in eastern Nepal.
According to ESCN, he will be arriving in Kathmandu on September 4 and will remain in the Himalayan nation for five days. On September 6, he will make a presentation to an expected gathering of “5000 people” at ESCN which the organisation says will be telecast by five local television stations. ESCN is located some 7 kilometers from Biratnagar, the eastern Nepal industrial hub.
He is also scheduled to make another presentation at the Academy Hall (formerly the Royal Academy Hall) in Kathmandu on September 8 and will fly back to the USA on September 9.
The Biratnagar event is expected to draw a huge science-loving crowd of Nepal. Mr Aldrin is understood to be travelling to Nepal on invitation of the ESCN. “This is a historic event and we invite everyone to be a part of it,” the organisation has urged locals through its website.
Buzz Aldrin’s son Dr Andy Aldrin and other members of his family are also accompanying him during the tour. The tour of the former NASA astronaut is already drawing attention of the local media. After all, it is not every day that Nepal gets visitors who has been to the space, let alone all the way to the Moon.
Born Edwin Eugene Aldrin Jr. on 20 January 1930, the 86 year old was a U.S. Air Force officer with the Command Pilot rating before he volunteered for the mission to the Moon aboard Apollo 11. He and Neil A. Armstrong piloted the Lunar Module (from and to their main spacecraft Apollo 11) to actually set foot on the surface of the Moon.