Buzz Aldrin, renowned astronaut and second man to walk on the moon, has teamed up with the Florida Institute of Technology to work on a so-called “master plan” to colonize Mars in the next 25 years.
The 85-year-old participated in a signing at the university on August 27 to formally establish the Buzz Aldrin Space Institute. According to a media advisory, it will put its time into planning a settlement on Mars within the next 25 years based on the astronaut’s concept, “Cycling Pathways to Occupy Mars.”
An added bonus is that the Melbourne-based college is barely an hour’s drive away from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center. Aldrin will also be a part of the faculty as a senior adviser and an Aeronautics Research Professor.
Aldrin, who walked the moon with Neil Armstrong on July 20, 1969, hopes that this plan will be received well by NASA as well as the rest of the country, along with international input.
While NASA is working on rockets and a spacecraft to get astronauts to reach Mars by the 2030s, Aldrin is aiming for a Mars settlement by 2039, the year that will mark the 70th anniversary of his Apollo 11 landing. But he admits that the agenda is “adjustable.”
Not only Mars, but Aldrin also envisions utilizing the planet’s moons—Deimos and Phobos—as initial stepping stones. He confessed to not liking the “one-way” label and wants tours of duty that last ten years.
On Mars, he says, “The Pilgrims on the Mayflower came here to live and stay.” He added that they did not wait for a return trip near Plymouth Rock, and neither will the people building a population on the Red Planet do so.
Meanwhile, Aldrin himself has recently relocated from California to nearby Satellite Beach, on the Atlantic Ocean. He termed it “a terminal assignment,” in Air Force language. “I’ve traded earthquakes and fires for hurricanes by coming to Florida,” he added.
The American engineer, who has a doctorate in science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, will join two former space fliers at Florida, Sam Durrance and Winston Scott.
“Buzz Aldrin joins university, developing ‘master plan’ for Mars settlement,” FOX News web site, August 28, 2015; http://goo.gl/Yeb1lL.
Dean, J., “Buzz Aldrin, Florida Tech to establish Space Institute,” Florida Today web site, August 26, 2015; http://goo.gl/si2jlO.