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Buzz Aldrin Reflects on Moon Landing

This is a rush transcript from "Hannity," June 29, 2009. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

SEAN HANNITY, HOST: Now, next month, America will celebrate the 40th anniversary of one its most incredible achievements, the Apollo 11 moon landing, when two of our own stepped onto the face of the moon. And my next guest was on that mission and was the second man in history to walk on the moon. He's an American hero.

He's new book is called "Magnificent Desolation: The Long Journey Home from the Moon." And joining me now is Buzz Aldrin.

Buzz, welcome to the show. Thanks for being with us.

BUZZ ALDRIN, FORMER ASTRONAUT: Great to be with you, Sean.

HANNITY: Appreciate it. And you know, I was surprised on reading through this. First of all, you actually had communion when you were up on the moon, when you actually were there. And that story stunned me. I never heard that before, and I've been following it closely.

Video: Watch Sean's interview

ALDRIN: Well, that seemed to me to be an appropriate way to — to give thanks at that time. I thought I would tell the world about it. But that was my ego cropping up, you know. But Deke Slayton said, "No, maybe you shouldn't talk about that," and he was absolutely right. Because, you know, we came in peace for all mankind.

And there are all sorts of details in "Magnificent Desolation." Why — why I came up with that term, shortly after I was walking on the surface, the magnificence of humanity, coming wherever they came from, whether from the trees or from above. And we evolved into such progressive creatures to fly airplanes and build rockets and send people to the moon.

HANNITY: You know, I've got a telescope at home, Buzz. And — and I love looking at the moon. I love looking at the stars. I love looking at the different planets that we can look up and see, when I have somebody that is far more qualified with me to point them out to me. But the idea, when I look at the moon, and you can see the craters with a good — with a good telescope. And the idea that somebody would look up there and say, "I'm going to travel there, and I'm going to come home"? It's pretty gutsy. Do you look at it — did you ever look at it that way?

ALDRIN: Well, you know, if you're a fighter pilot, and you've been in combat, and you've shot down a couple of MiGs, you don't hesitate to get involved in something that looks like it's progressive, got the entire American people behind it, and has the momentum, the stimulation of a world conflict, the competition.

We just accelerated space travel ahead of its time. And it was going to come along soon or later, but after we do things like that, well, you can expect to — to see a little bit of a recession, you know? The world is full of ups and downs. And we happen to be in one of them right now, but we're going to pull out of it. You know that.

HANNITY: As soon as we get a new president and a new Congress, yes, we're going to pull out of it. I agree with you. But I'm not dragging you in there.

You went through a lot of personal turmoil, a lot of personal trials...

ALDRIN: Yes.

HANNITY: ... and tribulations. And problems with your family and your wife and depression. And — and, I think it was, alcohol abuse. And at the time you were going through this, it was not fashionable to go out and get some help, so tell us what happened.

ALDRIN: Well, you know, I was a setup for these things. I inherited tendencies for depression. My mother took her life a year before I went to the moon.

But I've led a life of such structured discipline and always had a goal in mind of knowing what I was doing, from West Point to the Air Force combat, MIT, looking for new things to study and get involved in. And then I got into the space program, and how disciplined can you get? How goal-oriented can you get? To have one space flight and then be in the position to be the first to maybe try to get on the moon?

But after all of that, I went back to the Air Force, and it didn't turn out exactly the way I'd hoped it would. And then I was on my own, unstructured, unstructured, not knowing where to go.

And, you know, all of these things are in the book in great detail. The people that came along to help me, the mental health association, and in the fellowship of alcoholics, getting together and helping each other...

HANNITY: Obviously — I don't mean to interrupt you.

ALDRIN: That's a great organization.

HANNITY: Obviously, you've got it together. That picture of the flag that is right next to you, right there on the other side of the screen there, you say — you tell a story. That was a little harder to get in the ground than most people think.

ALDRIN: Well, those are little details, and there are a lot of details like that. The big point is that that was the proud — the proudest moment of my life, to be able to stand by the American flag and salute it.

And there's a magnificence of the story of my life. And then there's a desolate side of it, too. But having put things back together again, meeting the wonderful Lois, who came into my life and helped bring me down to earth again. And we complement each other in such a way that — that what I have right now is a magnificent life, trying to look at our space program and help it out from where it is now.

HANNITY: I think — I think it's time to go to Mars. I'm not volunteering, by the way.

ALDRIN: No, no.

HANNITY: I can't even go on a cruise ship. That's too confined for me.

Buzz, good to see you. It's a great story of great American heroism and courage and patriotism and redemption. Thank you for being with us.

ALDRIN: We really need to move on. Thanks a lot, Sean.

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