Former American astronaut Buzz Aldrin has been medically evacuated from the South Pole after his ‘condition deteriorated’ during a tourist trip.
White Desert, the private tourism company overseeing the trip, requested help for Aldrin who was traveling as part of a tourist group and said that he was ‘ailing’ but did not reveal details about his condition.
‘As a precaution, following discussion between the White Desert doctor and the U.S. Antarctic Program, (Aldrin) was evacuated on the first available flight out of the South Pole to McMurdo under the care of a doctor,’ a statement from the company reads.
According to the National Science Foundation, which manages the US Antarctic Program, the 86-year-old ‘ailing’ visitor needed to be flown from the ‘Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station to McMurdo Station on the Antarctic coast and then to New Zealand,’ the organization said in a statement on Thursday.
Aldrin was said to be in stable condition when he was transferred to the medical team.
‘NSF will make additional statements about the patient’s medical condition only as conditions warrant,’ the NSF statement reads.
Earlier this week, Aldrin shared several pictures on his Twitter account showing him and others gearing up for the trip and seemed excited to be going.
‘South Pole here I come! #antarctica #WhiteDesert #GYATAntarctica’ he wrote in a tweet on Tuesday alongside a photo of himself standing with his bag in front of a plane.
In another tweet on Tuesday, he wrote: ‘We’re ready to go to Antarctica! May be our last opportunity to tweet for a few days! We’re go for departure to the launchpad!’
Aldrin is the second person to walk on the Moon when he joined Neil Armstrong and Michael Collins for the historic Apollo 11 mission.
The Montclair, New Jersey native who is a former fighter pilot, stepped on the moon about 20 minutes after Neil Armstrong took the historic first step on July 20, 1969.
Their moonwalk as part of the Apollo 11 lunar landing was watched by a then-record television audience of 600 million people.