By J.G. Noll

Icon and astronaut, Buzz Aldrin, became the oldest person to fly with the Air Force Thunderbirds on April 2. At the Melbourne Air & Space Show, the 87-year-old took off with the Thunderbirds and flew in the diamond formation before the official start of the show. He stayed in the air for about 20 minutes.

Watch as Aldrin gets ready to fly with  Lt. Col. Kevin Walsh (Thunderbird #7):

Along with Neil Armstrong, Aldrin earned his place in the annals of American and scientific history by being the first men to set foot on the moon. Among a constellation of awards from across the globe, Aldrin is the recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom and the Congressional Gold Medal. An asteroid (6470 Aldrin) and a moon crater (the Aldrin Crater) have been named after him. He is a retired USAF colonel and a graduate of West Point.

The octogenarian keeps a busy schedule, appearing in Florida, New York, Colorado, and Washington, D.C. . . . this coming week alone. He is currently vigorously supporting efforts for space travel to and colonization of Mars, even wearing a shirt during his flight with the Thunderbirds that read, “Get your ass to Mars!”

Aldrin is a prolific tweeter who uses social media to reach people across generations and borders. He interacts with others personally– from joking with Canadian astronaut Commander Kelly to wishing luck to students performing in a musical at a middle school named after him. Using the handle @TheRealBuzz, he chronicled his time with the Thunderbirds:






J.G. Noll is the Editor of Military One Click and a veteran’s spouse. She can be reached at