Buzz Aldrin has racked up an impressive number of "firsts" in his courageous career: He was one of the first men to walk on the moon, and the first to take Communion on another celestial body, to name a few. But lesser known is the fact that Aldrin was the first to snap a selfie in space, back before the universe even knew what a "selfie" was.
In an exclusive interview after the release of his new book "No Dream Is Too High," pioneering American astronaut Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin recalls how he and Jim Lovell pulled off the first "space selfie" during their Gemini XII mission in 1966 — but not before telling us the inspiring story of how he came to join the space program.
"I saw fighter pilots during World War II doing really heroic things," Aldrin tells FNM. "And then I became a fighter pilot, and shot down enemy aircraft during the Korean War. I heard about the space program and thought I wasn't going to be qualified — I hadn't even gone through test-pilot training — but I did have something: rendezvous techniques that I studied at M.I.T."
Fortunately for Aldrin, that was enough to enroll in the space program, and the rest is history.
"I had dreamed about Buck Rogers when I was real little, and now, I'm sort of making like Buck Rogers, going into space," Aldrin remembers thinking.
Oddly enough, Aldrin's out-of-this-world achievements also extend to the world of photography. Way back in 1966, Aldrin literally became the first person to snap a selfie in space — a feat that's been copied several times since.
"Somebody from the space station [recently] said, 'Hey, I just took the first selfie in space — but no, you didn't," laughs Aldrin. "Somebody did that before you did!"
Watch the clip above to hear the story of (and see) the world's first space selfie, then be sure to pick up a copy "No Dream Is Too High" for more of Aldrin's inspiring tales.