Col. Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin recalls the lunar surface as a challenge, but the dance floor could prove an even bigger one.
At age 80, the second man to walk on the moon is about to make history in another way — as one of the eldest contestants yet on “Dancing With the Stars.” The ABC competition launches its 10th season Monday, Mar. 22, with Aldrin strutting his stuff among much younger rivals including reality-show “mom” Kate Gosselin, ESPN reporter Erin Andrews and actresses Pamela Anderson and Shannen Doherty.
“Living on Air Force retirement and Social Security, I’m forced to go out and sing for my supper quite a bit,” Aldrin admits in explaining his “Dancing” decision to Zap2it. “Most of the astronauts are in the business of marketing memorabilia and autographs. It’s not like a football player being paid millions and millions, and it’s a shame that somebody who has gone to the moon has to do that.”
The rehearsal time demanded by “Dancing With the Stars” is forcing Aldrin to revise his schedule. “I may be postponing a reunion with my fighter squadron,” he reports, “and maybe a diving expedition to mark the 40th anniversary of a sea-and-space sharing group.”
Having reached the stars aboard Apollo 11 and Gemini 12, Aldrin now tries to keep himself and the U.S. space program visible by various means: “I have over 800,000 followers on Twitter, I’m coming out with a new iPhone application, and I’ve written two children’s books and a science-fiction story that I hope to get made into a movie.
“Then there’s my recent autobiography, ‘Magnificent Desolation.’ All of that is in pursuit of communicating with diverse groups of people who remember the past and want to see us rebuild on that for the future.'”
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