Building a self-sustaining base on Mars will be a significant challenge. Image Credit: NASA
Apollo astronaut Buzz Aldrin has stated that surviving on Mars will be a lot harder than getting there.
The 86-year-old, who back in 1969 became the second man to step foot on the moon during the historic Apollo 11 mission, maintains that the key to sending humans to Mars lies, not in the technology needed to get there, but in the ability to set up a self-sufficient base on its surface.
"It is estimated that people on Mars initially could only produce 15% or 20% of what they need to eat," he said. "We would need to supply them continually. I feel that we need to concentrate our efforts on one major base (on Mars), to make that as close to being self-sufficient [as possible]."
Rather than sending astronauts there on a short return trip like with the moon landings, he argues, anyone traveling to Mars should expect to spend years of their life living and working there.
"I can see people making that decision," he said. "That's the most important thing. I can see many (making the decision) to get there, but I can also see things getting a little tough and they regret the decision and their functioning going down and that being disruptive to people."
Aldrin also maintains that countries should stop competing with one another when it comes to space exploration and instead work together - especially if we are to ever send humans to Mars.
"I think we need a starting point, and in about two years or so it will be 50 years since we landed on the moon," he said. "That is a time to celebrate, sort of - we can look back and see where we've been, where we are, and where we should go."
Source: Belfast Telegraph | Comments (3)
Mars, Buzz Aldrin