On this day in 2003, Buzz Aldrin (the second human to step foot on the moon) took the controls aboard Epcot's Mission: Space for the filming of a television segment advertising the new attraction. The spot later aired August 15, 2003 on ABC-TV during the broadcast of the feature film Mission to Mars. August 15 was the same day that the attraction had its first soft opening to the public.
Born in Glen Ridge, New Jersey in 1930, Edward Eugene Aldrin was selected as part of the third group of NASA astronauts in 1963. A United States Air Force pilot, he flew aboard Gemini 12 (with Jim Lovell) in 1966 - the 10th and final manned Gemini flight. In 1969, Aldrin was the Lunar Module pilot aboard the famous Apollo 11 flight. He and fellow astronaut Neil Armstrong became the first to land on the moon.
Buzz, along with fellow veteran astronauts Jim Lovell and Wally Schirra, attended the grand debut of Mission: Space on October 9, 2003. A motion simulator thrill ride, Mission: Space allows guests to experience a futuristic mission to Mars (including the g-force of blast-off).
"Mars is there, waiting to be reached." -Buzz Aldrin
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