Former astronaut Buzz Aldrin was airlifted from the South Pole Thursday after his tour company requested emergency evacuation for him.
The 86-year-old, who was visiting the region as a tourist, was assisted by the National Science Foundation after tour group agency White Desert requested medical aid, according to a statement on the NSF’s website.
The NSF noted it agreed to “provide a humanitarian medical evacuation flight for an ailing visitor from its Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station to McMurdo Station on the Antarctic coast and then to New Zealand.”
Aldrin was transported to a hospital in Christchurch, New Zealand. “He has fluid in his lungs, but is responding well to antibiotics and being kept overnight for observation,” according to a statement from White Desert.
He tweeted about his South Pole visit on Tuesday:
Aldrin’s manager, Christina Korp, accompanied him on the trip to the South Pole. She is also with him now in New Zealand.
Aldrin was aboard the Apollo 11 on NASA’s first manned mission to the moon in 1969 and was the second man to walk on the lunar landscape.
This post has been updated with a statement from White Desert.