NASA will honor former astronaut Buzz Aldrin for his involvement in the U.S. space program with the presentation of the Ambassador of Exploration Award on Saturday, March 25 at the California Science Center in Los Angeles.

NASA is presenting the Ambassador of Exploration Award to the 38 astronauts and other key individuals who participated in the Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo space programs for realizing America’s vision of space exploration from 1961 to 1972.

The award is a small sample of lunar material encased in Lucite and mounted for public display. The material is part of the 842 pounds of samples brought back to Earth during the six Apollo lunar expeditions from 1969 to 1972. Aldrin’s award will be displayed in the Sketch Foundation Gallery: Air & Space Exhibits, California Science Center, 700 State Street, Los Angeles.

Aldrin was the lunar module pilot on the Apollo 11 mission, and the second man to set foot on the moon on July 20, 1969. He completed two hours and 15 minutes on the lunar surface with Neil Armstrong, while command module pilot Michael Collins orbited the moon. Aldrin also flew on the four-day Gemini 12 mission with James Lovell in November 1966. He is a Korean War combat veteran, and he served 21 years in the U.S. Air Force. For his astronaut biographical information on the Web, visit:

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