Buzz Aldrin, the 86-year-old retired US astronaut who was among the first men to walk on the Moon, has been evacuated from the South Pole for medical reasons, officials said Thursday.
Aldrin was visiting the South Pole as part of a tourist group, when his “condition deteriorated,” said a statement from the operator, White Desert.
Aldrin was “was evacuated on the first available flight out of the South Pole,” it added, describing the move as “a precaution.”
“His condition was described as stable upon White Desert doctor’s hand-over to the US Antarctic Program medical team,” the statement said.
No other details about Aldrin’s condition were released.
The National Science Foundation said it received the request to evacuate Aldrin and dispatched a humanitarian medical evacuation flight to the Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station.
From there, another flight would take Aldrin to McMurdo Station on the Antarctic coast, and then to New Zealand “as soon as possible.”
An NSF spokesman told AFP he was unable to confirm the status of the flight to New Zealand, given the early hour in McMurdo.
NSF said it “will make additional statements about the patient’s medical condition only as conditions warrant.”
In 1969, Aldrin and Neil Armstrong became the first men to walk on the Moon, as part of the Apollo 11 mission.