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Buzz Aldrin Advocates for Mars Colony

Buzz Aldrin Advocates for Mars Colony

Will colonization of the red planet become a reality in our lifetime?

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!*

*Maybe.

Follow Kemberlee on Twitter @kemberleekaye

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Comments

Realistically it’s not possible right now.

HOWEVER, it is possible with current technology. The biggest thing that we’d have to do is actually build a dock and construct a ship in orbit, and have some way to fire supplies up without launching them.

Right now the biggest bar to space travel is the fact that any space vehicle has to be able to withstand the force of attaining orbit, and the pilots have to survive the ascent.

However, if we were to just build a ship in orbit, it could be considerably lighter and make the trip between Mars/Earth much easier.

Then you can kinetically fire supplies into orbit for the ship to pick up and transport back and forth.

Being able to just fire supply crates into orbit without having to deal with the human element cuts the cost required MASSIVELY. Then the transport ship could just fire them onto the surface of Mars for the colonists to pick up.

Of course, the first group of colonists would explicitly be a 1 way trip. There would be no realistic way of getting them off the surface without follow on trips.

legacyrepublican | April 11, 2016 at 10:49 pm

It is all very simple. Make Mars a special Presidential Electoral College zone with 279 electoral bonus votes. Democrats will be there before we can rent the LGBT flick “Bernie does Dallas.” And if someone dies there during the descent, why, they can still vote.

Will colonization of the red planet become a reality in our lifetime?

No, not colonization. Definitely not in my lifetime. But, I’m old.

Some of you youngsters may see the first human on Mars, but it will only be one or two people, and I’m not sure they’d be making a return trip.

Wish we had more like Buzz.

And yet, thousands of college students think right now that we’ve *already* had manned missions to Mars, because they saw it in a movie.

And they vote.

ugottabekiddinme | April 12, 2016 at 12:26 am

I wonder, what is the point?

If it’s scientific, let robots do it.

If it is something of a higher, an aspiration for human achievement, then let private initiative do it. Please let’s keep all government out of it, because whatever the government touches eventually sucks.

Let’s do it. Stick George Soros in a capsule with a 2-way radio, a urinal, ten ham sandwiches, and launch it.

I really hope we (Israel) does it 1st only so I can here Max Blumenthal and BLM claiming how Zionists have colonized Mars and are subjucating the indegenous Martian population

buckeyeminuteman | April 12, 2016 at 7:54 am

I just finished reading fellow moonwalker John Young’s autobiography “Forever Young” (I recommend it for any other space nerds out there). I hadn’t heard before that Buzz was not very popular among the rest of the astronaut corps. They thought he was cocky and liked to rock the boat. However, with backup crew swaps and two astronaut deaths, Buzz got bumped up to the Apollo 11 prime crew, with Neil’s permission. I’ve seen him in a few interviews in recent years wearing a t-shirt that reads GET YOUR ASS TO MARS. We need more like him.

Henry Hawkins | April 12, 2016 at 8:47 am

They want to spend gazillions on a manned colony on Mars. Meanwhile, thousands of people across America have no Obamaphones. Priorities, people.

——–

The biggest detriment to manned space exploration, including colonizations, is the fragility of the human being, and the question is whether space exploration ought to proceed with manned craft or robotics, space drones if you will. Manned is multitudes more difficult and expensive than unmanned. On the spiritual aspect, manned is more glorious, unmanned vastly more efficient with resources.

I’d gladly support manned missions if I get to decide who goes. Cue funny suggestions:

Well, yes, it was 32 years from Wright Bros. to the DC3, and just another 24 from DC3 to Boeing 707. In 1969 it seemed inconceivable that there wouldn’t be a colony on the Moon by now, and perhaps one on Mars (and Lagrange points, and asteroids?) as well.

But it hasn’t worked out that way, has it? Today’s jetliners are no faster than a 707 (although some have longer range, and they are safer and more fuel-efficient) and, really, today’s space transportation systems aren’t much better than those of fifty years ago.

What’s needed to make space travel practical is what the Space Shuttle promised but did not deliver: a low-cost, reasonably low-risk means to low Earth orbit, combined with interplanetary “space tugs” powered by ion rockets, or solar sails pushed by ground- or space-based lasers, or some other means of high-efficiency, durable in-space transports capable of low but long-duration thrust.

What’s available is the possibility of a single (or at most a few) high-cost, high-risk crewed mission(s) to Mars. Which would cost as much as thousands of robotic probes yet, like project Apollo, surely be abandoned after success (but even more rapidly after a fatal accident, such as a killing solar storm while en-route to/from Mars).

Given the state of current technology, robotic space vehicles look far more attractive than ones with people in them.

Although space transports aren’t much better than they were in 1970, electronics are stupendously more capable. The problem is NASA’s “No bucks without Buck Rogers!” mantra; that is, the assertion that the public will have little interest in space exploration unless there is a human element.

The answer to this is telepresence, for the Internet makes it practical for the public to be the remote eyes (and ears, if telemetered data can be passed through a text-to-speech application) looking at far-away worlds through our now-ubiquitous electronic devices.

Eastwood Ravine | April 12, 2016 at 4:54 pm

With our current technology? That’s answered mostly “No”; we need more than advancing computer technology. That is a given, since computer technology is always advancing.

Just a couple off of the top of my head:

First, we need major advances in medical science to combat the effects of radiation and low gravity on astronauts. We’re more likely to develop treatment regimes to combat the rigors of long-term space travel (and the low gravity on Mars) than we are to develop Star Trek-like radiation shielding or artificial gravity.

Second would be advances in energy and propulsion.

    Actually I was reading a few months ago that they were studying a person with a genetic disorder that caused him to grow ultra-dense bones and they had a trial on mice kept in zero-g, and they actually slightly increased bone density despite remaining in zero-g. Obviously it would take time to adapt that to humans but the tech is there it just needs to be approved.

    Likewise, radiation shielding is simply a question of building a properly shielded spacecraft. The technology is already there, it’s just a question of applying it.

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