Buzz Aldrin evacuated from South Pole

US astronaut Buzz Aldrin signs a book for Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull (not pictured) during their meeting at the Parliament House in Canberra, Australia, 07 November 2016.Image copyright

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Mr Aldrin was the second man to walk on the Moon after Neil Armstrong

Buzz Aldrin, the second man on the Moon, has been evacuated from the South Pole after falling ill.

The 86-year-old former astronaut was visiting Antarctica in a tourist group and was evacuated to the US Antarctic Program’s research centre.

The White Desert tour company said Mr Aldrin was stable under the care of a doctor.

The evacuation flight was provided by the National Science Foundation who said Mr Aldrin was “ailing”.

In a statement on their website, White Desert said Mr Aldrin’s condition had “deteriorated”. They said Mr Aldrin was evacuated as a “precaution” and had been “accompanied by a member of his team”.

Mr Aldrin had tweeted about the tour just a few days earlier.

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On Sunday he joked, in a tweet that he might be underdressed for the cold.

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Who is Buzz Aldrin?

The former astronaut was part of the Apollo 11 mission which was the first space trip that sent humans to the Moon. During the mission he was accompanied by astronaut Neil Armstrong, who took the first steps on the Moon – Mr Aldrin followed minutes later.

Mr Aldrin has remained in the limelight in recent years, delivering cameo appearances in hit American television shows such as the Big Bang Theory, The Simpsons and 30 Rock.

In 2002, he escaped assault charges after punching a man who demanded he swear on a Bible that the Moon landing was not staged.

In recent years he has called for the colonisation of the planet Mars. In 2015, he spoke to the BBC’s Radio 4, saying: “We’ll lay out preparations up to that [going to Mars], in my mind we are doing it right now.”