Buzz Aldrin Talks About Life After the Apollo 11 Moon Landing in a 1980 BBC Interview

The great Buzz Aldrin opened up about his career with NASA, qualifying as an astronaut, the events around the 1969 Apollo 11 moon landing mission, and how he responded to sudden fame during a 1980 television interview with Sir Ludovic Kennedy of the BBC. Aldrin also spoke about his difficulties with public life.

I didn’t feel like I was ideally suited in that role I felt that as a as an engineer, as a academic person as a fighter pilot I was suited to that profession. As an astronaut, I worked well as a public figure I didn’t care for that role and I didn’t care for the way I felt I performed in that role. 

He also talked about the depression that set in after he came home.

Well in looking back on it, I just feel that from the time the mission was over for the next couple of years, I was in a period of just discomfort that I characterized as depression or despair, anxiety, apprehension, questioning my own ability to perform.

He also told Kennedy what he had learned about his mental health during that time.

I learned that that it was okay to not be perfect all the time and that in itself gave me a bit of relief. To having been demanding perfection out of myself and then seeing that I couldn’t do that. And then learning that it was okay to do that and it was also all right to tell people about that.

Lori Dorn
Lori Dorn

Lori is a Laughing Squid Contributing Editor based in New York City who has been writing blog posts for over a decade. She also enjoys making jewelry, playing guitar, taking photos and mixing craft cocktails.