WATCH: Buzz Aldrin's many incredulous faces during President Donald Trump's space speech

The second man to land on the moon seemed taken aback by the president's various statements on space technology

By Matthew Rozsa

Staff Writer

Published July 3, 2017 5:51PM (EDT)

Donald Trump; Buzz Aldrin   (AP/Evan Vucci)
Donald Trump; Buzz Aldrin (AP/Evan Vucci)

President Donald Trump probably hoped that his press conference today celebrating his signing an executive order reviving the National Space Council would make headlines. It is doubtful, however, that the headlines about Buzz Aldrin looking dismayed at his speech were what he had in mind.

The first disgusted look of note creeps in at the 2:27 mark, when Trump says, "I felt strongly about it [the National Space Council] for a long time." As Trump continues bloviating about his deep commitment to space exploration, Aldrin can be seen inhaling deeply and shooting a few disbelieving looks. The former astronaut also gives off a disapproving look when Trump says, "At some point in the future we're gonna look back and say, 'How did we do it without space?'"

The richest range of reactions from Aldrin came during this rambling bit of oratory from the president.

"The human soul yearns for discovery by unlocking the mysteries of the universe. We have unlocked truths within ourselves. That's true. Our journey into space will not only make us stronger and more prosperous, but will unite us behind grand ambitions and bring us all closer together. Wouldn't that be nice? Can you believe that space is going to do that?"

Aldrin's reactions here ranged from disdain for the hackneyed rhetoric he was being forced to absorb, to exasperation with the speech, to finally mirth at the president's seeming wonderment at the concept that "space" is going to "bring us all closer together." When Trump then added, "I thought politics would do that," Aldrin visibly rolled his eyes.

He also shot a mischievous look to someone in the crowd behind him when Trump began bragging that America would start "thinking big" again under his administration. We feel your pain, Buzz.

By Matthew Rozsa

Matthew Rozsa is a staff writer at Salon. He received a Master's Degree in History from Rutgers-Newark in 2012 and was awarded a science journalism fellowship from the Metcalf Institute in 2022.

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