Aldrin says that a Mars ticket should be marked "One-Way"

Tesla Motors and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk is making a big push to put more Americans in space safely, efficiently, and economically. SpaceX’s current endeavors with its Falcon rockets and Dragon capsules are mere stepping-stones to the endgame: Mars.
Buzz Aldrin, 84, the second human to step foot on the surface of the moon, has his own thoughts on space travel and the inevitable manned missions to Mars. Aldrin participated in an AMA on Reddit discussion yesterday, and the topic turned towards Mars.

Buzz Aldrin on the surface of the moon in 1969

Aldrin was asked about Musk’s Mars ambitions, and whether a privately funded company could possibly make the trip:
There is very little doubt, in my mind, that what the next monumental achievement of humanity will be the first landing by an Earthling, a human being, on the planet Mars…
Some people may be rooting for Elon - I think he could, with his SpaceX, contribute considerably, enormously, to an international activity not only at the moon but also on Mars.
Things took an interesting turn when Aldrin started discussing his thoughts on colonization of Mars:
I have considered whether a landing on Mars could be done by the private sector. It conflicts with my very strong idea, concept, conviction, that the first human beings to land on Mars should not come back to Earth. They should be the beginning of a build-up of a colony / settlement, I call it a "permanence." A settlement you can visit once or twice, come back, and then decide you want to settle. Same with a colony. But you want it to be permanent from the get-go, from the very first. I know that many people don't feel that that should be done. Some people even consider it distinctly a suicide mission. Not me! Not at all. Because we will plan, we will construct from the moon of Mars, over a period of 6-7 years, the landing of different objects at the landing site that will be brought together to form a complete Mars habitat and laboratory, similar to what has been done at the Moon.

Buzz Aldrin and Buzz Lightyear 

Aldrin also couldn’t help but get in a few digs on how poorly funded NASA is compared to years past:
We in the United States cannot come close to the return to leadership that the United States had 45 years ago, and shortly thereafter. The lack of funding that supported missions to the Moon and return, a pioneering effort for humanity, required 4% of the national budget of the United States. Now we are at 1/2 of 1% and have been that way for quite some while.
He goes on to state that we shouldn’t focus on returning NASA astronauts to the moon, because “we’ve done that.” Instead, he says we should set our sights further:
OUR resources should be directed to outward, beyond-the-moon, to establishing habitation and laboratories on the surface of Mars that can be built, assembled, from the close-by moons of Mars. With very little time delay - a second or less. Much better than controlling things on the Moon from the Earth. So when NASA funding comes up for review, please call your lawmakers to support it.
Aldrin’ AMA is full of some wonderful commentary, so if you have the time, be sure to check out the musings of a true American hero.

Source: Reddit

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