Man who walked on the Moon lands in Nepal

Kathmandu, September 4

American astronaut Dr Buzz Aldrin who is one of the first two humans to set foot on the Moon arrived in Kathmandu on a five-day maiden trip to Nepal today.

Upon his arrival via Fly Dubai flight at Tribhuvan International Airport at around 11:00 pm here today, Buzz told this daily that he was delighted to be in Nepal.

“I have come a very long way,” Buzz, clad in ‘Eat My Moondust’ T-Shirt, said while checking-out from the airport.

“Heading off in a style to new country I have never been to,” Buzz, who is accompanied by his project manager, earlier shared in his mid-air tweet from an Air Emirates A380 first class cabin.

Buzz, 86, had walked on the Moon with Neil Armstrong on 21 July 1969. The former US Air Force officer with the Command Pilot rating had also taken the first selfie in the space before returning safely to the Earth.

Buzz was received at the airport by the representatives of the Everest Science Centre Nepal. According to ESCN Executive Chairman Dr Dilip Adhikari, the Lunar Module pilot in Apollo 11 will share his experiences of landing and walking on the moon with the Nepali audience.

The astronaut, along with his team will be taken to Lumbini tour tomorrow, he said.

Buzz and his son Andrew, who arrives in Kathmandu tomorrow, will give a presentation at ESCN on Tuesday and at the Nepal Academy Hall, Kathmandu, on Thursday. “More than 5,000 people are expected to attend the presentation at ESCN in the eastern Nepal as the event will certainly be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for the Nepali audience to know about the spacewalk.”

“Once again, my life intersects with that of my lifelong hero and friend, Buzz Aldrin. Now, he brings to the students of Nepal the inspiration to achieve great things in science, technology, engineering and mathematics that has motivated me throughout my years of education,” the astronaut’s young friend Michael Kronmiller told THT over phone from Virginia.

“Guided by Buzz Aldrin’s vision of technological advancement in the service of humanity, Nepali students will send their future robots to space - Today, Everest. Tomorrow, Moon, Mars and beyond!” Kronmiller added.

Commenting on Buzz’s Nepal trip, renowned NASA astronaut Scott Parazynski told this daily that Nepal was one of the most captivating sights on the planet as seen from space. “I’m excited for Buzz to finally get a chance to see it at the ground level, and to experience wonderful Nepalese hospitality.”

"Buzz has lived his life travelling to and reaching out to the most beautiful, challenging and remote places  -  the Moon and the Mars, where he hopes to be involved  with a manned mission and now Nepal. The most dramatically beautiful, remote, and challenging place on Earth," Martin Coleman, a Colorado-based climber, commented on his visit.

Likewise, Keith Cowing, an astrobiologist, a former NASA employee and the editor of the often-cited US space program blog NASA Watch, said, "It is wonderful that Buzz Aldrin is visiting Nepal. The importance of the Moon to the people of Nepal is obvious - it is on their flag!"

In his latest best-seller, No Dream Is Too High: Life Lessons from a Man Who Walked on Moon, Buzz, the author of eight more books, shared the text of the speech US President Richard Nixon was prepared to read if Aldrin and Armstrong, hadn’t made it back to the Earth after their Apollo 11 mission.

Buzz, who is busy inspiring the world to start a human settlement on Mars, will fly back to the US on Friday.