Buzz Aldrin, the second man to ever walk on the moon, has an important message for all of us: it’s time to go to Mars.
Aldrin, a celebrated Apollo and Gemini astronaut, has become increasingly vocal in his advocacy for space exploration in recent years. Lately, he has been pushing NASA and other space companies toward a Mars expedition—and the manned missions planned by NASA and SpaceX just aren’t coming soon enough.
“The moon landing was a monumental achievement for humanity, but there’s no greater mission than mankind’s journey to Mars,” the 87-year-old astronaut says. And he comes equipped with a plan for creating a permanent human settlement on The Red Planet.
One of Aldrin’s most notable pushes was a virtual reality installation aiming to get users close to the Red Planet experience to inspire a vision for the future of mankind. The remarkable 10-minute VR film was created in partnership with the holographic technology company 8i. The masterpiece is helping Aldrin sell the dream he’s been envisioning for three decades.
Aldrin hopes for a sustainable settlement plan for Mars, in which 18 people are shuttled to the planet every two years. Though that plan sounds ambitious, others are already working to make it a reality. Last year, SpaceX announced its Interplanetary Transport System to carry 100 people per flight to Mars and establish a self-sustaining colony within the next century.
Aldrin, of course, as a unique advantage over even these visionaries—and he’s way ahead in terms of his vision. In fact, Aldrin first introduced the idea of a manned mission to Mars in 1985, when he proposed the existence of a spacecraft trajectory known as the “Aldrin cycle,” which makes travel to Mars possible by using less propellant.
Aldrin has another motivation, too.
“I don’t want to be remembered for just kicking Moon dust,” Aldrin says.
Source: Popular Mechanics, USA Today, New York Times