Aldrin talks of life back on Earth

Posted: July 22, 2009

After Buzz Aldrin, the second human to walk on the moon, retired from the Air Force, he was offered $800,000 to appear in a commercial for Volkswagen.

"I thought this civilian life was going to be pretty good," Aldrin, 79, told a packed auditorium at the Free Library last night. But he struggled with depression and alcoholism. Those recollections of his life during and after the historic Apollo 11 moon landing 40 years ago are contained in his new book, Magnificent Desolation.

FOR THE RECORD - CLEARING THE RECORD, PUBLISHED JULY 23, 2009, FOLLOWS: An article in yesterday's Local News section about astronaut Buzz Aldrin incorrectly stated the amount of money he said he had been paid for making a Volkswagen commercial. It was $300,000.

He went public with his depression in a newspaper commentary piece and later chaired the board of the National Association of Mental Health. "Not exactly the kind of career I had in mind," he said.

Aldrin also advocates for continued manned missions into space, and he said the next group of astronauts to visit the moon should be from China and India.

"Don't go where you've gone before," he said, advising President Obama and future presidents that history will remember the leader who sends Americans to another planet.

Contact staff writer Robert Moran at 215-854-5983 or bmoran@phillynews.com.

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