Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin

The first man to walk in space and the second to tread on the moon, Buzz Aldrin went on to be the most culturally dynamic alumnus of America's space program. A West Point grad and veteran fighter pilot in the Korean War, Aldrin went on to distinguish himself as a scholar before becoming a key technological engineer with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). NASA selected him for its elite corps of astronauts in 1963, leading to a spacewalk in 1966 and following partner Neil Armstrong on the famous moon landing in July 1969. Almost as famously, Aldrin battled alcoholism, as well as clinical depression. But he would rebound to become one of the biggest public ambassadors for space exploration, appearing periodically throughout the decades across a spectrum of media, from documentaries and "Star Trek" tributes to irreverent comedies like "Space Ghost Coast to Coast" (Cartoon Network, 1994-2004) and "The Simpsons" (FOX, 1989- ). A living testament to one of the greatest achievements of applied science and humankind's wherewithal, Aldrin maintained his legacy as the one of the most zealous proponents of continued space exploration well into the 21st century.