Apollo 11 space hero Buzz Aldrin 'left with only his clothes, car and home'
As NASA's celebrity astronaut finds himself in a spot of legal bother, we look at his ongoing legacy
"Every Superman needs his Lois..."
So Buzz Aldrin wrote of his beloved wife Lois in his 2009 autobiography, Magnificent Desolation.
Although it's safe to assume that when Lois Lane and Clarke Kent got married it wasn't based on an agreement that Lois and her daughter would own the rights to "essentially everything he has other than his clothes, car and home."
Those are in the words of a lawsuit filed in Aldrin's name, this week.
It follows the claim that Aldrin has given up "complete ownership and control of all his property rights in his fame, celebrity, personality and publicity rights..." to both Lois and her daughter, Lisa Cannon.
Since their marriage in 1988, Lois Aldrin has been largely credited - lot least by the man himself - with helping Buzz Aldrin in his ascent from used car salesman to the multi-media 'Rock Hero' brand he's known as today.
Aldrin's landmark achievement in becoming the second man to walk on the Moon in 1969 was marred by subsequent depression and alcoholism. Once his NASA and space careers were finished, the former American hero wound up selling used automobiles in a car lot.
That was until he met Lois. Fast-forward two decades, and Aldrin is today a global celebrity and passionate advocate of space exploration. His lifestyle includes regular visits with heads of state and monarchy around the world.
Aldrin's other recent publicity endeavours have included a stint on the US reality TV programme Dancing with the Stars, branded Buzz Aldrin merchandise including radios and footwear, and even a collaborative single with rapper Snoop Dogg.
Clearly, Aldrin has never been a man to do things by halves. Yet, according to his lawyers, not even Aldrin himself was aware of stake he had given Lois in his Starbuzz business. The true nature of their contract allegedly only came to light in June of this year, after Buzz requested a divorce.
Revealing the 'Rocket Hero'
Buzz Aldrin's irrepressible personality has long been a source of public interest. It has even been rumoured that Aldrin should have been the first down the ladder of the Lunar Module, and the first man to set foot on the Moon.
Armstrong's biographer James Hansen has previously suggested that a change was made to protocol, because NASA believed that the shy and retiring Neil Armstrong was better suited to life as an American icon - and less likely to cause the agency any future embarrassment.
Today, each man's approach to bearing the burden of Apollo 11's legacy couldn't be more different. Armstrong's reticence shows no sign of abating, making collectors even more enthusiastic to own pieces of his legacy.
Since he stopped signing autographs in the mid-1990s, Armstrong's autograph has since become the world's most valuable by a living signer, growing in value from £550 to £5,950 (a rise of 981.8%) over the past 11 years.
While Armstrong refuses interviews even at official Apollo 11 commemorative events, Aldrin revels in his celebrity and usually signs autographs at the drop of a hat.
Although Aldrin's antics have caused raised eyebrows among his fellow NASA alumni, his continuing passion for space exploration can't be balked at. US President Barack Obama is among those who've lent the second Moonwalker their ear in the past.
An overriding legacy
Even though Buzz Aldrin can't compete with Neil Armstrong in the autograph value stakes, the towering achievement of his being the second-ever person to walk on the Moon remains evident in his more unique items of space memorabilia - like this Apollo 11 training suit.
Watch this space for regular upcoming news reports from the space collectibles markets.
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