2020 Election

Buzz Aldrin Endorses McSally Over Fellow Astronaut Kelly

Buzz Aldrin / Getty Images

Famed astronaut Buzz Aldrin on Saturday endorsed incumbent senator Martha McSally (R., Ariz.) over fellow astronaut Mark Kelly (D.) in the upcoming election.

"Martha, check six—Mark? Buzz—over 100 jet hours in Arizona," Aldrin tweeted. "12 o'clock is straight ahead. 6 o'clock is behind. Fighter pilots understand what ‘check six' means in [fighter pilot] lingo talk. Martha, wave as you move ahead past Mark, to 12 o'clock, and you win for Arizona!"

Before he became an astronaut, Aldrin served as a fighter pilot in the Korean War. McSally also flew fighter jets in Iraq and Afghanistan, becoming the first female pilot to fly a combat mission.

McSally said Aldrin's endorsement was an "honor." "Absolute honor to have the support of hero astronaut Buzz Aldrin in this mission!" McSally tweeted on Saturday. "We must hold this seat, the Senate, and save the country. It's a dog fight, and as we fighter pilots say: Fight's On!"

Aldrin, the second astronaut to ever set foot on the Moon, endorsed McSally over fellow spacefarer and Democratic challenger Kelly. The Arizona Democrat flew four missions to space over the course of the 2000s and also started his own aerospace technology business. In recent months, Kelly and his business have come under fire for investments from a company with ties to the Chinese Communist Party, raising concerns among some national security experts.

As China and Russia have worked to develop their military capabilities to challenge U.S. supremacy in space, Kelly has also criticized the creation of the U.S. Space Force, calling the new defense effort a "dumb idea." In contrast, McSally emerged as a top voice in support of Secretary of the Air Force Barbara Barrett, an integral figure in developing the Space Force mission.

Aldrin is not the only former astronaut to endorse McSally over Kelly. Earlier this month, three other former astronauts endorsed McSally in an op-ed, citing her record and the Democratic Party's far-left tilt.

"But having ‘astronaut' on your resume does not mean you'd be a good U.S. senator," the astronauts wrote. "Mark Kelly is hoping Arizonans are so impressed with his background that they ignore the fact that he's supported radical gun-control activists, that his plan for the eventual government takeover of health care would end Medicare as we know it, and that he'd vote to raise our taxes."