Of the 17 Apollo astronauts still alive, Walter Cunningham of Apollo 7, Rusty Schweickart of Apollo 8, Fred Haise of Apollo 13, Al Worden of Apollo 15, Charlie Duke of Apollo 16, Harrison Schmitt of Apollo 17, Michael Collins and Aldrin, 89, both of Apollo 11, were present at the celebratory event when they met up in March at the Explorer’s Club in New York City, according to Business Insider.
Exactly 50 years ago today, we were on our way to the Moon! It was an honor to work with this crew and a privilege to complete the mission of a lifetime. #ApolloXI https://t.co/uaiXkzPNOu pic.twitter.com/14gwL8YFcu
— Buzz Aldrin (@TheRealBuzz) July 18, 2019
Buzz Aldrin was the second man to walk on the moon after Neil Armstrong, who died in 2012 at age 82 — certainly stood out at the event, sporting a suit covered in rocket ships, a silver bowtie, pink button down and American flag socks.
Photographer Felix Kunze told Business Insider that Aldrin’s suit drew “almost as much attention as the man himself.”
Buzz Aldrin also opened up about the mission at a 50th anniversary gala on Monday at the Ronald Reagan Library outside Los Angeles, according to Reuters. “I sometimes think the three of us missed ‘the big event.’ While we were out there on the moon, the world was growing closer together, right here,” he said.
Saturday will mark the 50th anniversary of man landing on the moon, Tuesday is the anniversary of their rocket’s launch.
Collins was there to mark the Saturn V’s exact moment of take-off: 9:32 a.m. on July 16, 1969.
50 years ago today, Neil Armstrong, Mike Collins and I launched into space on a mission of enormous importance. God bless the 400,000 Americans who helped us get to the moon and back. Together, we Americans can do anything! Never forget July 16, 1969! #Apollo50 pic.twitter.com/lX6456UO2N
— Buzz Aldrin (@TheRealBuzz) July 17, 2019
“Apollo 11 … was serious business,” Collins said, per the AP. “We, crew, felt the weight of the world on our shoulders. We knew that everyone would be looking at us, friend or foe, and we wanted to do the best we possibly could.”
Events leading up to Saturday’s moon landing anniversary will continue throughout the week.