Published: Friday, May 10, 2013

‘US must colonise Mars’

'US must colonise Mars'

Buzz Aldrin, the American astronaut who was the second man to walk on the Moon, said Wednesday that the United States must lead the way toward building a permanent settlement on Mars.
“The US needs to begin homesteading and settlement of Mars,” Aldrin said at the Humans to Mars conference at George Washington University. “It is within reach.”
His call for US leadership in the space race to Mars largely lines up with plans set forth by Nasa and President Barack Obama’s administration to send the first people to Mars in the 2030s.
But unlike Nasa Administrator Charles Bolden, who acknowledged at the start of the three-day conference on Monday that significant technological gaps remain, Aldrin said the bulk of the research has already been done.
“We are talking about multiple missions to eventually settle and colonise Mars,” said Aldrin, who also plugged his plan to send spacecraft on cycling orbits that would engage in perpetual trajectories between Earth and Mars.
“We should focus our attention on establishing a permanent human presence on Mars by the 2030-2040 decade.
Aldrin was the lunar module pilot on Apollo 11. On July 20, 1969, he and Neil Armstrong became the first humans to set foot on the moon.