Former astronaut Buzz Aldrin to stay in New Zealand until lungs clear

Former astronaut Buzz Aldrin testifies at a Senate Subcommittee on Space, Science, and Competitiveness, entitled "U.S. Human Exploration Goals and Commercial Space Competitiveness," on Capitol Hill in Washington, February 24, 2015. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque/File Photo

WELLINGTON (Reuters) - Former U.S. astronaut Buzz Aldrin, the second man to walk on the moon, has been advised by doctors to stay in New Zealand until fluid from his lungs clears, days after he was evacuated from the South Pole as his condition worsened. The 86-year-old adventurer who was visiting the pole as part of a tourist group, was flown to Christchurch, New Zealand, early on Friday because of congestion in his lungs. His team posted details of his medical evacuation from Antarctica over the weekend, along with pictures of him in good spirits, on his official website as well as on Twitter. "I am being very well looked after in Christchurch. I'm looking forward to getting home soon to spend Christmas with my family and to continue my quest for Cycling Pathways and a permanent settlement on Mars," he said on his website. In one of the photos on Twitter, Aldrin can be seen reading a newspaper in his hospital bed as he tweeted: "Catching up on the world while I'm stuck in quarantine." His manager, Christina Korp, who travelled with him to Antarctica, posted photos on Sunday of him taking a walk with a nurse inside the hospital. Aldrin was a fighter pilot during the Korean War before joining the U.S. astronaut program. On July 20, 1969, he stepped on the moon about 20 minutes after Neil Armstrong took the historic first step. Their moonwalk, part of the Apollo 11 lunar landing, was watched by a then-record television audience of 600 million people. (Reporting by Swati Pandey; Editing by Peter Cooney)