A week after Antarctica evacuation, Buzz Aldrin released from hospital

Buzz Aldrin on his flight home after being released from the hospital.

Story highlights

  • The former astronaut has been released from a hospital in New Zealand
  • He was evacuated from the South Pole due to his medical condition

(CNN)Former astronaut Buzz Aldrin has been released from a hospital in New Zealand and is on a flight back to the United States, according to a tweet from his manager, Christina Korp.

Aldrin, 86, was hospitalized in Christchurch on December 2 after being evacuated from the South Pole when his medical condition deteriorated. He was part of a tourist group visiting Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station through luxury tourism company White Desert. The trip was expected to last through December 12.
    He had congestion in his lungs and was told not to take the long flight home until it had cleared, Korp posted on Aldrin's website.
    "I started to feel a bit short of breath so the staff decided to check my vitals," Aldrin said on the website. "After some examination they noticed congestion in my lungs and that my oxygen levels were low which indicated symptoms of altitude sickness. This prompted them to get me out on the next flight to McMurdo and once I was at sea level I began to feel much better."

    'I'm extremely grateful'

    A White Desert doctor and the US Antarctic Program doctor decided an evacuation would the best precautionary measure, according to a release from the company. The tourism operator made a request for a medical evacuation to the National Science Foundation, and it agreed.