Buzz Aldrin took a little bit of Minnesota with him to the moon

Apollo 11 astronaut took pennant from Gustavus Adolphus College

Adam Carter
July 17, 2019 - 12:49 pm

Courtesy of Gustavus Adolphus College

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As we approach the 50th anniversary of the moon landing, a Minnesota college is drawing attention to it's connection to that momentous event. 

Turns out Colonel Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin, one of the three Apollo 11 astronauts, and the second man to walk on the moon, took a small pennant from Gustavus Adolphus College with him on the mission. 

So what's the connection between Aldren and the St. Peter college?

"He was invited to campus for an honorary degree in 1967 at our commencement ceremonies," said Chuck Niederriter, a professor of physics and environmental studies at Gustavus. "At that point (Aldrin) became sort of a friend of the college."

When it was determined that Aldrin would be on the Apollo 11 mission, a Gustavus administrator reached out to him.

"He decided that the college should ask if we could have Colonel Aldrin to take a pennant to the moon with him, and he agreed to do it."

 After the mission, Aldrin sent the pennant back, along with a small American flag and Apollo 11 mission patch.  All three have been on display at the college.  

Courtesy of Gustavus Adolphus College

Courtesy of Gustavus Adolphus College

Saturday is the 50th anniversary of the moon landing.  

RELATED: Buzz Aldrin skips Space Center gala kicking off 50th anniversary of moon landing 

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