Canberra, July 20 (ANI): Edwin "buzz" Aldrin, the second man on the moon, has said that it doesn't matter who was the first on the Moon, as the landing was more important than walking on the lunar surface.
According to a report in The News, Aldrin made the statement at a book-signing recently, arguing that being second man on the moon behind Neil Armstrong was "just as significant".
"The climax maybe of my life was landing on the moon with Neil," he said. "And landing is more important than walking around outside, despite what everybody wants to think," he added.
"Landing opens the door to do everything else that had never been done before," he said.
As Neil Armstrong's Apollo 11 co-pilot, Aldrin followed in the shadow of Armstrong's "one giant leap" out onto the surface of the moon and into history in 1969.
Forty years later, the two have reunited along with Michael Collins - the even-less-spoken-about third astronaut aboard Apollo 11 - for several public appearances celebrating the 40th anniversary of that most historic event.
When the trio fronted their first public commitment at the Smithsonian Institute's National Air and Space Museum, the moon itself was largely ignored, apart from Aldrin declaring he'd like to see "more than footprints" on it.
Armstrong remained reticent, discussing the moon landing for about 11 seconds before giving a professorial lecture titled Goddard, governance and geophysics, looking at the inventions and discoveries that led to his historic "small step for a man".
Collins, famous for flying to the moon but not actually get to step foot upon it, said the moon was "not interesting" compared to Mars.
"Sometimes I think I flew to the wrong place," he said. "Mars was always my favourite as a kid and it still is today. I'd like to see Mars become the focus, just as John F Kennedy focused on the moon," he added. (ANI)