WELLINGTON In what can only be described as a space oddity, former astronaut Buzz Aldrin is being cared for in a New Zealand hospital by Dr David Bowie after being evacuated from the South Pole.
In a truly remarkable coincidence, Aldrin’s doctor shares the name of the late British singer whose greatest hits included songs such as “Starman” and others about space travel that could easily have been penned for the great American astronaut.
The coincidence certainly tickled Aldrin’s manager, Christina Korp, who posted a photo on Twitter of Aldrin and Dr Bowie together in a Christchurch hospital.
“Thank heaven @TheRealBuzz’s doctor is David Bowie,” Korp said on Twitter. “You can’t make this stuff up.”
Bowie, the singer and actor, released his smash hit “Space Oddity” about a fictional astronaut who loses communication with ground control in 1969, just days before Neil Armstrong and Aldrin became the first humans to set foot on the moon.
Their moonwalk, part of the Apollo 11 lunar landing, was watched by a then-record television audience of 600 million people worldwide.
Bowie, who also adopted the alter ego of Ziggy Stardust, followed the success of “Space Oddity” with the release of “Starman” in 1972.
Aldrin, 86, was evacuated from the South Pole at the weekend after falling ill and was flown to Christchurch on New Zealand’s South Island, where he remains in quarantine. He has been advised by doctors to remain until fluid in his lungs clears.
Bowie, the singer and actor who won the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 2006, died earlier this year.
(Reporting by Swati Pandey; Editing by Jane Wardell and Paul Tait)