, Christchurch, New Zealand, Dec 4 – Retired US astronaut and the second man to walk on the moon, Buzz Aldrin, was recovering after his medical evacuation from Antarctica but is not yet able to return home, his manager Christina Korp said Sunday.
“He still has some congestion in his lungs so has been advised not to take the long flight home to the States and to rest in New Zealand while it clears up,” Korp said in a statement.
Aldrin, 86, was evacuated to a hospital in Christchurch on Friday after experiencing health problems while on a trip to the South Pole.
“He now holds the record as the oldest person to reach the South Pole. He’ll be insufferable now,” Korp quipped in a tweet.
Aldrin said his primary interest in visiting the South Pole was to experience and study conditions similar to life on Mars and to speak to National Science Foundation staff based in Antarctica.
“I didn’t get as much time to spend with the scientists as I would have liked to discuss the research they’re doing in relation to Mars,” he said in a statement released from his hospital room.
“My visit was cut short and I had to leave after a couple of hours. I really enjoyed my short time in Antarctica and seeing what life could be like on Mars.”
But Aldrin said he was now looking forward to being home by Christmas, as he continues his quest for a permanent settlement on Mars.
Aldrin’s South Pole visit adds to his exploration achievements which include a space walk during the 1966 Gemini 12 mission, walking on the moon in 1969, going down to see the Titanic in 1996 and visiting the North Pole in 1998.