Buzz Aldrin was the second man to walk on the moon on July 21, 1969 as the lunar module pilot of the Apollo 11 mission following commander Neil Armstrong. Born in Glen Ridge, New Jersey on January 20, 1930, Buzz went to the United States Military Academy at West Point and graduated third in his class with a B.S. in mechanical engineering in 1951. During the Korean War he flew F-86 Sabre jets. Later he was a flight instructor. In 1963 he went on to earn his Doctorate of Science (Sc.D.) in Astronautics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and wrote his thesis on Manned Orbital Rendezvous. (His father, Edwin Eugene Aldrin, was a colonel in the United States' Air Force, a Sc.D. from MIT, and an aviation pioneer.)
In 1963 he joined NASA in the third group of astronauts. Aldrin was the first with a doctorate and became known as "Dr. Rendezvous." Aldrin flew on the last two-man Gemini 12 mission and set a record for the longest spacewalk or Extra Vehicle Activity (EVA). His second and last mission was going to the moon with Apollo 11. He left NASA after touring the world with his fellow Apollo 11 crew mates and became Commandant of the United States Air Force Test Pilot School at Edwards Air Force Base.
In 1972 he retired from the Air Force. Since retiring from NASA and the Air Force, Col. Aldrin has remained at the forefront of efforts to ensure America's continued leadership in human space exploration. In 1985, he devised a plan for missions to Mars – the "Aldrin Mars Cycler" – a spacecraft transportation system with perpetual cycling orbits between Earth and Mars. His autobiography “Return to Earth” details his Air Force/NASA career and his battle with depression and alcoholism. Of the three Apollo 11 crewmen, he has participated the most in the entertainment industry which included singing, dancing and acting in television and movie projects.
In "The Friendship Contraction", Rajesh Koothrappali exclaims, "Ooh, ooh! What about we make your astronaut nickname Howard “Buzz” Wolowitz?" Howard responds, "You can’t do Buzz. Buzz is taken," with Raj revealing, "Buzz Lightyear is not real." Howard continues, "No, that’s not what I’m talking about." Thus, Raj asks, "Well, are you talking about when he thought he was real?" Howard simply resounds, "No." Raj does not know who Buzz Aldrin is.
In "The Holographic Excitation" Raj sends Howard a video link featuring Buzz Aldrin passing out Milky Way and Mars candy bars as well as moonpies to children at his doorway on Halloween. The braggart Aldrin obsesses over space and his astronaut career at every step, just like Howard, and even rudely asks a child what he has accomplished, meanwhile he asserts he's walked on the moon.