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Buzz Aldrin Medically Evacuated From South Pole After Falling Ill

Astronaut Buzz Aldrin was evacuated from the South Pole Thursday, December 1, after his condition “deteriorated,” according to a statement from tourism firm White Desert. The 86-year-old had been visiting the region as part of a White Desert tourist group.

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“As a precaution, following discussion between the White Desert doctor and the U.S. Antarctic Program (USAP) doctor, Mr. Aldrin, accompanied by a member of his team, was evacuated on the first available flight out of the South Pole to McMurdo with the USAP under the care of a USAP doctor,” White Desert explained. “His condition was described as stable upon the White Desert doctor’s hand-over to the USAP medical team.”

Buzz Aldrin
Buzz Aldrin on August 10, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

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The National Science Foundation added in a release that Aldrin will be flown to New Zealand after arriving at McMurdo Station (a hub of the U.S. Antarctic Program) on Ross Island, a dependency claimed by the country. Neither White Desert nor the National Science Foundation has confirmed the exact nature of Aldrin’s current condition, but his family has been made aware of his state.

South Pole here I come! #antarctica #WhiteDesert #GYATAntarctica

A post shared by Buzz Aldrin (@drbuzzaldrin) on

The second man on the moon left for Antarctica on Tuesday, November 29, with a group he referred to as “Buzz’s Polar Penguins.” He documented the journey on social media.

Buzz’s Polar Penguins countdown to liftoff has commenced. #Antarctica #WhiteDesert

A post shared by Buzz Aldrin (@drbuzzaldrin) on

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“Buzz’s Polar Penguins countdown to liftoff has commenced,” he captioned an Instagram photo with his fellow travelers that day.

During a stop in Cape Town, South Africa, the No Dream Is Too High author joked that he wasn’t adequately prepared for his trip. “I could be a little underdressed for Antarctica,” the father of three posted on social media November 27. “Although I tend to be hot blooded.”

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