This article is from the In-Depth Report 40 Years after the Apollo Moon Missions
60-Second Science

Aldrin Dusts Off Moon Memories

Buzz Aldrin recalls the simple strangeness of being on another world, such as how the dust rose and fell differently on the moon with each footfall. Steve Mirsky reports

[The following is an exact transcript of this podcast.]

It’s the 40th anniversary of the first humans setting foot on the moon. Last August, I interviewed one of them, Buzz Aldrin, in the lobby of a hotel he was staying at in Manhattan. Near the end of our conversation I asked him to get a little existential: “What was the actual experience of being up there? Did you have any time to just say, ‘This is unbelievable?’”

Aldrin: “Well, there is no way to recreate or really anticipate the visual that we were given. You just couldn't project ahead that you are going to see unusual things like putting your foot down and the dust goes out and kind of lands in a different way. Things behave differently up there.”

To hear the entire interview with Buzz Aldrin, just go to

It includes a discussion of how his doctoral thesis work at M.I.T. on guidance techniques for manned orbital rendezvous wound up coming into play during actual missions that he took part in as an astronaut.

—Steve Mirsky

Go to our In-Depth Report on the 40th anniversary of Apollo 11 landing on the moon.

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