Apollo astronaut Aldrin urges US to land on Mars

US astronaut Buzz Aldrin
US astronaut Buzz Aldrin speaks during a press conference in Hong Kong. NASA should focus on sending a man to Mars and helping other nations travel in space, Aldrin said.

NASA should focus on sending a man to Mars and helping other nations travel in space, Apollo astronaut Buzz Aldrin said Friday.

Aldrin, who was the second man to set foot on the after Neil Armstrong, said the US agency needed to stop concentrating on simply developing new rockets and turn its attention to visiting the neighbouring planet.

"I think our resources should... be on a pathway that can lead us to Mars," he told reporters during a trip to Hong Kong.

Aldrin added that when the 11 crew returned from their mission and began touring the world, they realised the sense of achievement did not belong only to them.

"We spoke to many people in different countries and they said, 'We did it'," said Aldrin. "These quests to space are capable of unifying people to see the successes of the human race."

"I think the moon needs to be visited by nations with space programmes that have not realised that point yet," he said. "[The US] can help them do that, with our experience."

Aldrin was speaking at the launch of a three-day exhibition at the Hong Kong Space Museum celebrating the moon landing. The 40th anniversary of the landing falls on July 21.

The 79-year-old recently opened an account on the social networking site Twitter to promote the 40th anniversary. He currently has more than 3,000 followers.

When asked what he would have tweeted to the world after walking on the moon, Aldrin smiled and said, "I can't wait to get home."

(c) 2009 AFP

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Jun 19, 2009
When asked what he would have tweeted to the world after walking on the moon, Aldrin smiled and said, "I can't wait to get home." Aldrin probably left out : ...to take a good long shower"

Jun 19, 2009
Velanarris: He doesn't want a colony. He wants another flag planting mission, which is just stupid. That's what we did on the moon, and it was the wrong decision to make. You don't design shortterm missions like that, you design missions that will have both shortterm and longterm benefits.

That seems to be something that Mr. Aldrin doesn't get:(. He just wants a half-trillion dollar "fire&forget" mission, which is a waste of time and money. I want colonies instead.

Oh, and I wasn't the one who rated you two down:P.

Jun 19, 2009
While the flag planting missions do achieve some science and provide a lot of opportunities for advancements while meeting the engineering challenges, so do a lot of other projects. Creating a large scale, self-contained and largely self-sustaining colony in a remote desert or Antarctica or on an Arctic island or under the sea would be a start. Using small nuclear plants, geothermal power and other sources of power (some imported, as most nations do to some extent) would be acceptable though the difficulty and expense of such imports would make power saving solutions an important motivation. Mining resources, scientific exploration and tourism would all be possible.

Other projects like creating open-source, free software and content for education and business would be worth the funding. If you are going to spend gobs of money on something, how about commissioning professional quality audio MP3s of the great classical works of literature for the visually impaired or for busy people could enjoy these works while doing other things. Then link the audio to text files in English and other languages so that people who are learning English can improve their ability while understanding the story. I bet that there are lots of voice actors who are too ugly for movies but can do audio books. Do similar things with textbooks from introductory to advanced on many fundamental subjects. Make all of this free so any nation with internet access can have good educational content.

Jun 19, 2009
Nanotechnologists will get to Mars before our political leaders do;

Jun 20, 2009
gravity mills and beam power systems/relays between the earth and the sun sounds like a better waste of resource, it would ensure the astronaut has emergency power and resources as well as an interplanetary transport network for shipping ammenities

Jun 20, 2009
Buzz is trying to tell us that we should colonize Mars and that it should be an international effort.The CYRUS SPACE SYSTEM is just one way to do it: http://www.cyrus-...stem.com DANIEL STERLING SAMPLE....and SOS SAVE OUR SPACE SHUTTLE!

Jun 20, 2009
This comment has been removed by a moderator.

Jun 20, 2009
Some day some terrible thing will happen and make the earth uninhabitable and when that day comes it would be nice to have somewhere else to go. It might just be that we run out of room. Obviously most likely none of that will happen for a long time, but still. It's better to be safe than sorry.

Jun 21, 2009
Sorry to say. If we keep using chemical propulsion like ORION, Space Shuttle,etc. this is dream that will never happen.

We need near light speed travel if man is to survive space radiation so he can colonize.

But unfortunately, we still have the dunder heads
at our elite space facilites un willing to
advance exotic space propulsion concepts that
have forgot what a box is.

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