The second man on the moon, Buzz Aldrin, is hopeful humans will be able to colonize the red planet in the near future.

In an interview with Techcrunch Monday afternoon, Aldrin discussed how he sees the government and private sector working together to get man to Mars.

After all, his mother was born in 1903, the same year the Wright brothers made their first flight, and Aldrin himself was born less than three decades later. Yet in the span of his own life he’s seen the beginnings of the American space program, he went to the Moon and today he’s still advocating for the next step — Mars. (In fact, we recently wrote about Destination: Mars, a virtual reality project in which Aldrin participated.)

“I’m playing everything I can to serve my country the best I can,” he told me. “Who are we serving? Generations in the future.”

Much of the current excitement in space travel comes from private companies like SpaceX and Blue Origin, so I also asked Aldrin about how he sees the government and the private sector working together to get us to Mars.

“It’s government competing with the private sector,” he said. Noting that many private sector efforts are government-subsidized, he added, “The government is going to be strongly involved in going to Mars, but they will be relying more and more on contracting industry and telling them what we want. Then the private sector will be in charge of making it happen. But the prescription will not be, ‘Hey, Elon, go do what you want.’”

This is not the first time Aldrin has mentioned going to Mars, in fact, he’s been pushing for human conquest of the dry planet for years now.

If it all sounds a little crazy, consider NASA recently published an aspirational plan that would see humans on mars by the 2030s.

Move over, Newt’s moon colony, we’re going to Mars!*


Follow Kemberlee on Twitter @kemberleekaye


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