Astronaut Buzz Aldrin to Dance With a Different Kind of Star

Original moonwalker Buzz Aldrin will join the cast of Dancing with the Stars. MISHELLA/

Original moonwalker Buzz Aldrin will join the cast of Dancing with the Stars, making him the oldest contestant to appear on the 10th season of the hit ABC show. Aldrin will join Olympic gold medal figure skater Evan Lysacek, TV Bachelor Jake Pavelka, 90201 bad girl Shannon Dougherty, ESPN sportscaster Erin Andrews, Baywatch bathing beauty Pamela Anderson, reality mom of eight Kate Gosselin and more.

Aldrin, who graduated third in his class from West Point, was the second man to walk on the moon on July 20, 1969. He was the first to have spacewalked, and logged 289 hours and 53 minutes in space, 7 hours and 52 minutes of which were EVA (extra vehicular activity). He was also the pilot on Apollo 11, the first manned lunar landing in history. When Aldrin retired from NASA in 1972, he had served 21 years of active duty.

The legendary space flyer’s life after the moon was a bit rockier. He struggled with alcoholism and depression and has been married three times. (Happily, he remains married to third wife Lois Aldrin.) Aldrin's role in the first moon landing has made him an ongoing focus for conspiracy theorists who believe the government staged the Moon landing. In September 2002, Aldrin and a young female relative were cornered by conspiracy theorist Bart Sibrel, who called Aldrin a "liar" and "coward.” Reports are that Aldrin responded by punching Sibrel in the jaw.

Aldrin explains to his reasons to two-step it in front of the world:"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." He concludes, "living on Air Force retirement and Social Security, I'm forced to go out and sing for my supper quite a bit."

For further reading: