Sunday, November 25, 2018

Visions of permanent human settlements on Mars all include methods by which inhabitants can grow plants and produce food. Picture: Bryan Versteeg/Spacehabs.comSource:Supplied

It's Mars or bust, says Buzz Aldrin, Apollo 11 hero and space explorer extraordinaire in an interview with News Corp.
“I don’t think we really understand how much we can take of that, [radiation] or from how much we can be protected in efficient ways..."

While in Australia, Buzz Aldrin spoke to News Corp. about his passion for a human outpost on Mars. The promo is part of National Geographic’s series of talks, Mars: The Live Experience.

Would Buzz take such a risk?

Buzz Aldrin Speaks
“Well, it may hurt! But to have a very challenging life from age 40 when you get to Mars, and returning at 60, may be worth it having sacrificed for your country, or for humanity ... This is a concept that I don’t think very many people have come to grips with yet.”

Traveling to Mars is much more difficult than flying to the Moon in every way.
“Then we didn’t know,” Aldrin said.
There launch window is narrow. The trajectory and thrust have to be very exact. About half of the Mars missions have succeeded so far.

Buzz Aldrin Mars Promo
“You have to get it 100 percent: 95 percent, you don’t get to Mars. You don’t come back,” he says.
“No free return and no backup system, no alternate. I’m disturbed about that.”
Aldrin says that independent, short missions are doomed to fail.
“Probably the third time we get there, Congress or somebody will say ‘here, we know how to do that — lets spend that money over here ...’ And that will be it for Mars.”
Aldrin believes that high risks can be managed by sending mission components separately.
“You can have a year-and-a half tour of duty, a five year tour of duty, a seven-and-a-half ... and come back,” he says. “You’re sending as many as you’re bringing back.
"Are you disappointed you never got to fly to Mars?"
“No. See, we’d already flown,” he says.

MARS Series for Nat Geo

“The three of us (from Apollo 11) felt that being so fortunate to have come out with the mission and end up the first landing that we didn’t feel like flying another mission was fair to other guys. We’d be taking a potential mission away from them."

Aldrin hopes NASA accepts his "master plan" which is already working on the spacecraft and the rockets to launch astronauts to Mars by 2030. And he expects a Mars settlement by 2040, around the 70th anniversary of his Apollo 11 moon landing.

Aldrin also envisions using Mars moons, Deimos and Phobos, as stepping stones for astronauts. He doesn't like the label "one-way" and he imagines tours of duty, lasting up to 10 years.

Do you think we should colonize Mars?
We welcome all comments or questions.


A.R. Arias, a Mars enthusiast, is the designer/developer for Terra Nova Board Games. His debut game, Millennium-Glory Beyond The Ages, and its companion short story, Girl With A Broken Heart, launches 9.11.2019.