Andrew Aldrin is a prominent figure in the space industry, best known for his work in promoting STEAM education through space exploration. He is the son of Buzz Aldrin, the iconic Apollo 11 astronaut, and his mother Joan Ann Archer. While Buzz Aldrin’s career is globally renowned, Andrew has successfully carved out his own path in the space sector.
As the President of the Aldrin Family Foundation, Andrew Aldrin is dedicated to fostering a new generation of leaders, entrepreneurs, and explorers. The Foundation offers valuable educational tools, curricula, and programs, supporting national and local educational standards. Beyond his role at the Foundation, Andrew is the Program Coordinator of the Masters of Space Operations at Embry Riddle Aeronautical University, a prestigious institution in the field of aerospace and aeronautics.
In addition to his responsibilities at the Aldrin Family Foundation and Embry Riddle Aeronautical University, Andrew Aldrin has been appointed the Director of LEVL5: SPACE DOCK™ at the Alan B. Levan | NSU Broward Center of Innovation. This position allows him to connect South Florida’s region with the Space Coast and international space networks, further bolstering his influential presence in the world of space research and innovation.
Family and Early Life
Andrew John Aldrin, commonly known as Andy Aldrin, was born into a family with a strong connection to space exploration. He is the son of astronaut Buzz Aldrin and his first wife, Joan Archer Aldrin. Buzz Aldrin, the second man to walk on the moon, is a well-known figure in aerospace history. Andy is one of three children, having an older brother, James Michael Aldrin, and a sister, Janice Ross Aldrin.
Although his father’s career as an astronaut might have placed some expectations on him, Andy Aldrin focused on building his professional and academic background independently.
In pursuit of his educational ambitions, Andy obtained a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from UCLA. He continued his higher studies at the London School of Economics (LSE), where he earned a Master’s degree in Science and Technology Policy. Andy’s continued dedication to academia led him to achieve a PhD in Political Science and Public Policy from UCLA.
Throughout his educational journey, Andy’s rigorous academic training helped him establish his expertise in the fields of science, technology, and policy, subsequently preparing him for a successful career in space-related enterprises.
Space Industry Contributions
Andrew Aldrin has made significant contributions to the space industry, taking on various leadership roles at renowned organizations. He served as a Business Manager for United Launch Alliance, a collaboration between Lockheed Martin and Boeing, playing a vital role in managing the successful operations of spacecraft launches. In addition, he worked as an expert consultant for the Rand Corporation and the Institute for Defense Analyses, offering valuable insights and recommendations to optimize space strategies.
He has even taken on the family legacy—his father is Buzz Aldrin, the second person to ever step foot on the moon, and his mother is Joan Archer—by leading the Buzz Aldrin Space Institute (BASI) and advancing space exploration and development.
Andrew Aldrin’s academic background is quite comprehensive. He earned a Ph.D. in Political Science from UCLA, an MBA from TRIUM (a partnership between NYU, LSE, and HEC), and a MA in both International Relations from the University of California at Santa Barbara, and Science Technology and Public Policy from The George Washington University.
Aside from his extensive education, Dr. Aldrin is an Associate Professor at Florida Institute of Technology (FIT), playing an instrumental role in educating future space industry leaders through his expertise in various fields. Furthermore, he serves on the board of several charitable organizations, such as The Secure World Foundation, Sea Space Symposium, and the Tau Zero Foundation, showcasing his dedication to further the progress and understanding of space-related activities.
Advocacy and Public Service
Dr. Andrew Aldrin, son of famous astronaut Buzz Aldrin and his mother Lois, is deeply involved in advocacy for education in the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics (STEAM). He has been focusing on fostering the knowledge and curiosity of the next generation by helping develop programs in these essential disciplines. Dr. Aldrin has devoted his efforts to designing curricula and initiatives that engage students early on in their academic careers and inspire them to pursue further education in STEAM fields.
A key component of Andrew Aldrin’s public service commitment is his connection with several nonprofit organizations, particularly in the realm of space exploration. Dr. Aldrin serves as the Director of the Buzz Aldrin Space Institute (BASI) and is an Associate Professor at Florida Institute of Technology. BASI is a multidisciplinary institute working to advance space exploration and development towards the goal of establishing and maintaining a permanent human presence on Mars.
In addition to his work with BASI, Dr. Aldrin is the President of the Aldrin Family Foundation. This charitable 501(c)(3) organization is dedicated to using the inspiration of space to ignite a passion for STEAM education in students of diverse ages and backgrounds. The foundation has collaborated with the Sharespace Foundation, taking the lead in offering scholarships and other opportunities for financially disadvantaged students.
Dr. Aldrin’s contribution to public service, through educational programs and nonprofit involvement, demonstrates his commitment to inspiring and developing the future generation of STEAM professionals and space enthusiasts. By championing educational initiatives and providing resources to students who need them, Andrew Aldrin continues his family’s legacy of advancing human potential in the cosmos.
Controversies and Legal Affairs
In 2018, Andrew Aldrin faced a significant legal challenge when his father, famed astronaut Buzz Aldrin, filed a lawsuit against him and his sister. Buzz Aldrin accused his children of taking control of his financial affairs, assets, and social media accounts without his permission. Additionally, the lawsuit suggested that Andrew and his sister were exploiting their elderly father, who was experiencing memory loss and dementia, for their personal gain.
The legal battle took place in Florida State Court, with Buzz Aldrin’s lawsuit asking the judge to remove Andrew as the trustee and from control of his financial affairs. The allegations against Andrew included unjust enrichment, claiming that he engaged in business transactions that benefited himself at the expense of his father.
During this time, Andrew’s mother and Buzz Aldrin’s ex-wife, Lois Driggs Cannon, were also the subject of the legal proceedings. The lawsuit claimed that she was inappropriately involved in Buzz Aldrin’s financial matters, taking advantage of his alleged susceptibility to delusions and paranoia.
As the legal fight unfolded, questions about elder exploitation, legal guardianship, and the management of Buzz Aldrin’s foundations came to the forefront. However, in March 2019, the legal fight ended, with the family reaching an agreement without going to trial. The details of the settlement were never made public, but the resolution allowed both Andrew Aldrin and his family to move forward and avoid a messy and prolonged court battle.