Retired astronaut Buzz Aldrin aboard rescue flight from South Pole

01 December 2016 - 19:11 By Andre Jurgens

Buzz Aldrin‚ the second man to walk on the moon‚ is aboard a medical evacuation flight from the South Pole where he flew to as a tourist this week from Cape Town.

White Desert luxury tour operators has confirmed that the retired US astronaut was evacuated in a stable condition after his health had “deteriorated”.

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TMG Digital reported earlier on Thursday that the National Science Foundation (NSF)‚ which manages the US Antarctic Program‚ had confirmed being asked to arrange the rescue by a company based in Cape Town specialising in tourist visits to the frozen continent.

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Aldrin‚ who is 86‚ arrived in Cape Town last weekend to prepare for his trip aboard a Russian aircraft with his manager Christina Korp who tweeted a photograph of them just before take-off on Tuesday.

“Buzz Aldrin‚ has been evacuated from (the) South Pole. Mr Aldrin was visiting the Pole as part of a tourist group and while there his condition deteriorated‚” said White Desert in a statement on Thursday afternoon.

“As a precaution‚ following discussion between the White Desert doctor and the US Antarctic Program doctor‚ Mr Aldrin‚ accompanied by a member of his team‚ was evacuated on the first available flight out of the South Pole to McMurdo … under the care of a … doctor. His condition was described as stable upon White Desert doctor's hand-over to the USAP medial team.”

The flight is reportedly still in progress. He will be flown to New Zealand.

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