Wally Schirra

The US space program was launched, so to speak, in 1959, when the first seven mercury astronauts were named.

These pioneers laid the groundwork for the Gemini, Apollo, and space shuttle missions that would follow in coming years and decades.

Among those seven was a 36-year-old test pilot named Wally Schirra.

Over the next few years he would become a household name, along with those like John Glenn, Scott Carpenter, and Alan Shepard.

Finally, in 1988, Schirra wrote his autobiography. And that’s when I had a chance to meet him

So here now, from 1988, astronaut Wally Schirra/

Wally Schirra died in 2007. He was 84.

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Buzz Aldrin
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Buzz Aldrin

On July 20th, 1969, Buzz Aldrin was 39 years old, as he and Neil Armstrong became the first two human beings ever to set foor on the surface of the moon.

Fifty-one years sounds like a long time, but to those of us who remember watching it unfold live on TV, it’s almost like it was yesterday.

To untold millions of people all over the world, Buzz Aldrin, to this day, remains a larger-than-life hero. That’s why, when I met him in 2000, I was more than just a bit starstruck.

Aldrin had written his second novel, a fictional story of a disaster aboard a space shuttle. And, as you’ll hear, he was very focused on the future of space travel, not his past.

So here now, from 2000, Buzz Aldrin.

Buzz Aldrin is 90 now. He lives in Satellite Beach, Florida.