Legendary U.S. astronaut Buzz Aldrin indicated support for Republican Sen. Martha McSally in her Arizona race against Democratic challenger Mark Kelly, a retired astronaut.
“Martha, check six – Mark? Buzz – over 100 jet hours in Arizona,” Aldrin said on Twitter. “12 o’clock is straight ahead. 6 o’clock is behind. Fighter pilots understand what ‘check six’ means in FTR lingo talk. Martha, wave as you move ahead past Mark, to 12 o’clock, and you win for Arizona!”
12 o’clock is straight ahead. 6 o’clock is behind. Fighter pilots understand what “check six” means in FTR lingo talk.
Martha, wave as you move ahead past Mark, to 12 o’clock, and you win for Arizona!
— Dr. Buzz Aldrin (@TheRealBuzz)
October 25, 2020
“Ftr,” a common abbreviation for fighter, appears to be in reference to McSally’s history as a fighter pilot. McSally was the first woman in U.S. history to fly a combat mission in a fighter jet as well as the first woman to command a fighter squadron.
Shortly after Aldrin tweeted his message of support, McSally took to Twitter to thank him.
“Absolute honor to have the support of hero astronaut Buzz Aldrin in this mission,” McSally said. “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, who is most famous for piloting the Apollo 11 Lunar Module and being one of the first two humans to step foot on the moon, is one of several former astronauts to endorse McSally over Kelly.
“As former fighter pilots and test pilots, we know what it takes to get in the cockpit of a fighter jet for a test flight or combat: incredible determination, strength and grit,” former astronauts Tom Stafford, Charlie Duke, and Jack Lousma wrote earlier this month. “That’s why we support Sen. Martha McSally. As the first woman in U.S. history to fly a fighter jet in combat and command a fighter squadron, she broke barriers in the Air Force and the military.”