Famed astronaut envisions decade-long tours of duty on the Red Planet.
By ALYSSA NEWCOMB
August 28, 2015, 2:03 PM
• 3 min read
-- Leave it to Buzz Aldrin to come up with a grand plan for colonizing Mars.
Aldrin, 85, who was the second person to walk on the moon in 1969, is teaming up with the Florida Institute of Technology to create an actionable plan for getting humans to Mars in the next quarter century.
"The Pilgrims on the Mayflower came here to live and stay. They didn't wait around Plymouth Rock for the return trip, and neither will people building up a population and a settlement" he said of future travelers to the Red Planet.
Mars is located approximately 140 million miles away from Earth, which translates to about nine months of space travel to get to the Red Planet.
While some initiatives like the private Mars One bill the possible trip as a one-way mission, Aldrin said he believes humans could go on ten year tours of duty with the intent of returning to Earth.
Part of the plan, which Aldrin has dubbed "Cycling Pathways to Occupy Mars," involves Phobos and Deimos, Mars' two moon. The idea is the moons could serve as first stops for astronauts before reaching humans finally reach the Red Planet. Aldrin said he hopes NASA will be interested in his plan and also intends to ask for international feedback.
"I am proud of my time at NASA with the Gemini 12 and Apollo 11 programs but I hope to be remembered more for my contributions to the future. FIT will play a key role in my ongoing legacy and Cycling Pathways to Occupy Mars," he said. "You ain’t seen nothing yet!"