Former astronaut Buzz Aldrin. Picture: REUTERS/KEVIN LAMARQUE
Former astronaut Buzz Aldrin. Picture: REUTERS/KEVIN LAMARQUE

Moonwalker and space exploration advocate Buzz Aldrin is recovering in hospital with fluid in his lungs after being hastily flown from the South Pole.

The 86-year-old former astronaut – famous as the second man to set foot on the moon in 1969 – went from Cape Town this week with a tourist group in remote‚ frozen continent

When he fell ill, an urgent appeal was made to the National Science Foundation‚ which manages the US Antarctic Programme‚ for an emergency medical evacuation.

Tour operator White Desert said Aldrin was taken to a hospital in New Zealand.

"He currently has fluid in his lungs but is responding well to antibiotics and is being kept overnight for observation. His condition is stable and his manager‚ who is with him‚ described him as being in good spirits‚" it said.

"After a gruelling 24 hours, we’re safe in New Zealand‚" tweeted his manager Christina Korp.

Aldrin spent the early part of this week preparing for the tip and sightseeing in Cape Town. He went up Table Mountain and posed for photographs alongside the aircraft that flew the tourists to Antarctica.

On July 20 1969‚ he and Neil Armstrong made the historic Apollo 11 moon landing. The landing was watched by about 600-million people, at the time the largest television audience in history.

TMG Digital

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