Buzz Aldrin, Apollo 11, 1969: Astronaut Buzz Aldrin, the lunar module pilot, walks on the surface of the Moon near the leg of the Lunar Module “Eagle” during the Apollo 11 extravehicular activity (EVA). Astronaut Neil A. Armstrong, commander, took this photograph with a 70mm lunar surface camera. (NASA)
While the private sector continues to expand and help shape the future of space exploration, former astronaut Buzz Aldrin believes billionaires are not necessarily the answer to conquering the relentless quest for knowledge among the stars.
The Apollo 11 astronaut in the spotlight at the moment after the filing of a lawsuit against two of his children over the control of his estate and space artifacts.
In an interview given to Fox News last week, before the news of the lawsuit broke, Aldrin discusses Mars exploration, a subject close to his heart.
Aldrin, one of the two first people to set foot on the moon, were invited to a panel at a Milken Institute conference last year, when former NASA administrator Daniel Goldin expressed his desire to the see of billionaires again in a Mars mission. Yuri Milner, a Russian billionaire funding the search for life projects, also participated in the panel.
“I was shocked,” Aldrin told Fox News Thursday night ahead of the premiere of “Ulugh Beg: The Man Who Unlocked the Universe”, a docudrama following the extraordinary life of a gifted 15th-century astronomer and ruler who helped turn Samarkand, now known as Uzbekistan, into a mecca of science and culture.
“We let our future be done by someone who has more money than anyone else — and for their purpose, their goals? I don’t think that’s the way humanity should be and things to do. I think that we do things with teamwork,” he said.
Liftoff! We have liftoff on the #falconheavy Congratulations @SpaceX pic.twitter.com/wnEvXt425M
— Buzz Aldrin (@TheRealBuzz) 6 February 2018
BUZZ ALDRIN EYES 2040 FOR THE MANNED MARS MISSION
That is not to say that Aldrin is not a fan of SpaceX founder and Tesla CEO Elon Musk, or Jeff Bezos, CEO of Blue Origin, and Amazon, along with other companies such as United Launch Alliance, who will innovate and compete to help bring new technology to the industry.
The Gemini 12 and Apollo 11 astronaut was, even among the thousands of people gathered at Cape Canaveral, Florida, to witness SpaceX’s historic Falcon Heavy launch earlier this year.
Both SpaceX and Blue Origin, his gaze on Mars, along with other journey through space adventures, according to USA Today.
Yet Aldrin, who is a fierce advocate for America’s press in the direction of a manned mission to the Red Planet, noted that this is a difficult task that must be accomplished by a ‘coalition of the state of nations” in place of individuals.
BUZZ ALDRIN COMPLAINS ABOUT THE CONTROL OF HIS ESTATE, SPACE ARTIFACTS
“We must include everyone or it is approved by the people or not, he has to, because if we can’t entice them competitive at a very expensive level.”
When it comes to Mars, the 88-year-old hopes to maintain a constant presence on the planet and has already devised a plan to complete the epic journey – with the most critical element is fuelling, something he suggests could be done on the moon.
Aldrin has previously told Fox News that he believes that the astronauts could land on Mars by 2040.
Speaking at Thursday night’s event, Aldrin was also sure to note the consequences of the Begging, and how his contributions are still used today to help fuel the future of space efforts and discoveries.
“It was such an eye-opener to read about all the fantastic contributions, I think that most people have no idea and how revolutionary this way of thinking is and how it is laid such groundwork,” he said.
As for America’s future in space, Aldrin President Donald Trump with the announcement last week on the National Space Council, during which he ordered the Pentagon to immediately establish a national “space force” – a statement that was met with a mix of reactions – an indication in the direction of the country of the commitment.
“I think the motivation behind it is, we go forward on the space,” said Aldrin.
Benjamin Brown is a reporter from Fox News. Follow him on Twitter @bdbrown473.