Mars mission now best way forward for mankind – lunar pioneer
24 Jul, 2011 07:23
The legendary American astronaut, Buzz Aldrin, who piloted Apollo 11 and was only the second human being to set foot on the Moon, told RT at the Starmus Festival in Tenerife, Spain, that a mission to Mars now would be the best way forward.
“Are we alone out there?” RT asked the retired 81-year-old pilot whose career with NASA started back in 1963.“There’s no evidence that says that we are not alone. Are 'they' out there? Of course they are! Where? – I don’t know, there’s no evidence.”RT also asked whether Aldrin himself had seen a UFO.“That’s jumping to bizarre results with incomplete information. We were very careful not to excite people who would jump to a conclusion that an observation immediately meant something that was from somewhere else,” the astronaut explained.“There are many explanations for things that are unidentified. Many of those are in your back yard.<…>The media, the press, the exaggerating public that wants to see bizarre, unusual things, and they want to be the one that saw it – there’s a competition. Oh, I saw something, therefore I must be important,” added the astronaut who also happened to be the first person to hold a religious ceremony on the Moon.And as for a Red Planet mission, it is definitely a step in the right direction, the astronaut believes.“We had a program called Biosphere 2 where we put people inside of a structure for up to two years in living conditions with plants, and water, and atmosphere, and we learned from doing that. But the people inside knew that they weren’t on Mars, they weren’t somewhere else, and so do the people with Project [Mars] 500. To me, it was indicative maybe of a difference because the 500 is the [number of] days that it would take to get to Mars, stay there and then come back. That’s conventional thinking. I do unconventional thinking that I hope will be very well-understood as being just natural,” Aldrin said.“When human beings go to Mars they are settlers, they are colonizers. It is very difficult, it is very challenging to bring them back again. We don’t have the fuel, we don’t have the engines. And I use something very well understood by people in America – that the pilgrims on that ship called the Mayflower that left from England and came to the shores of the United States of America, they did not wait around the landing place for the ship to take them back. They came here, to American soil, to live the rest of their life, and so will the human beings that leave the Earth become the pioneers, the settlers, the colonizers.”“We need them there, we need more of them there, to sustain a colony. You can’t do that with just six people, 12 people or 24 people. You need 60, you need 100 – they are valuable where they are, don’t bring them back to get in a rocking chair and write their memoirs. They can write their memoirs from the surface of Mars!”