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Win a chance to scuba dive with Astronaut Buzz Aldrin in Grand Cayman

(DiverWire) Starting tomorrow, adventure-seekers looking for “once-in-a-lifetime” experiences can bid on seven exclusive opportunities to interact with NASA astronauts. Among the unique experiences is a scuba diving adventure with Apollo 11 astronaut Buzz Aldrin.

The Astronaut Scholarship Foundation’s (ASF) Spring Auction of Astronaut Experiences & Memorabilia, opens Thurs., March 7, 2013 at 9 a.m. EST.

A long-time certified scuba diver, Aldrin was part of the historic Apollo 11 moon landing in 1969. He remains very active and involved in the aerospace community and will explore the waters of Grand Cayman with the winning bidder in late April.

“These are perfect examples of activities that are great alone and even better when you do them with an astronaut hero by your side,” said Linn LeBlanc, executive director of ASF. “How do you improve a trip to the Cayman Islands? You add a private diving voyage with the legendary Buzz Aldrin, second man to set foot on the moon!”

In a unique coincidence, one of the dives that Aldrin and the winning bidder will undertake is on the Kittiwake wreck, located in shallow waters off the shore of Grand Cayman Island. The Kittiwake, a former Navy vessel sunk to create an artificial reef several years ago, participated in recovery efforts from the Challenger Space Shuttle disaster in 1986.

The Aldrin experience is anticipated to be among the auction’s most fervently contested lots. But LeBlanc expects that space enthusiasts with kids might be more interested in treating their young ones to a classroom visit from Apollo 13 astronaut Fred Haise, or a Space Camp experience featuring shuttle astronaut Jan Davis.

The seven Astronaut Experiences, as well as 36 lots of rare space artifacts and astronaut memorabilia representing every era of manned spaceflight, will be on the auction block until 10 p.m. (EDT) on March 15, 2013. Winning bids, over fair market value, may be considered a charitable donation.

Proceeds benefit the nonprofit Astronaut Scholarship Foundation, which aids the United States in retaining its world leadership in science and technology by providing scholarships to college students pursuing degrees in these fields.

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