Buzz Aldrin Evacuated From South Pole

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Former astronaut Buzz Aldrin is in a New Zealand hospital after he fell ill on a trip to Antarctica. Aldrin, 86, was evacuated from the Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station early Thursday on an LC-130 cargo aircraft, the National Science Foundation announced. Aldrin was with a group visiting the South Pole under arrangements by tour operator White Desert, which said in a statement that Aldrin had fluid in his lungs “but is responding well to antibiotics and being kept overnight for observation. His condition is stable and his manager, who is currently with him, described him being in good spirits.” He was flown first to the southern region of Antarctica to the McMurdo Station to await a flight to Christchurch, New Zealand, according to the Washington Post. 

Aldrin, a crewmember for the 1969 Apollo 11 mission and the second person to walk on the moon, had publicized his excitement over his trip to the South Pole via Twitter and other media, arriving there on Tuesday for what was to be a trip lasting about two weeks. Thursday’s emergency flight from Antarctica occurred during the summer season there that starts in November, when tourists are permitted to visit through February. The last evacuation from Antarctica for medical reasons occurred during hazardous winter conditions in June, when a Canadian company was hired to fly a DeHavilland Twin Otter to rescue two Amundsen-Scott station workers.

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