Buzz Aldrin
Buzz AldrinReuters

Buzz Aldrin, the former astronaut, has been evacuated from the South Pole, where he was visiting as part of a tourist group.

In a statement, White Desert, the tour company, said Aldrin's "condition deteriorated" while on the visit. "As a precaution, following discussion between the White Desert doctor and the U.S. Antarctic Program," Aldrin "was evacuated on the first available flight out of the South Pole to McMurdo" under the care of a doctor." The company said he was in stable condition when he was transferred to the medical team.

The McMurdo station is the US Antarctic Program's research center.

On Thursday night (local time, as U.S. stations in Antarctica adhere to New Zealand time), the National Science Foundation agreed to provide medical evacuation from the South Pole for the 86-year-old Aldrin, who in 1969 became one of the first people to walk on the moon.

The medical evacuation flight was provided by the National Science Foundation, according to a statement on the government agency's website. The statement did not offer a reason for the evacuation, only referring to Aldrin as "ailing."

"NSF will make additional statements about the patient's medical condition only as conditions warrant," the statement read.

"Ski-equipped LC-130 cargo planes flown by the 109th Airlift Wing of the New York Air National Guard provide the air bridge between the South Pole and McMurdo. The flight to New Zealand will be scheduled as soon as possible," it read.

Aldrin was born in Montclair, New Jersey, as Edwin Eugene Aldrin Jr. He earned the nickname Buzz because his sister pronounced the word "brother" as "buzzer," according to CNN.

In 1969, Aldrin, along with Neil Armstrong and Michael Collins, flew to the moon on the Apollo 11 mission. He became the second person to walk on the moon, after Armstrong.

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