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Space & Astronomy

Aldrin: 'getting to Mars is the easy part'

February 28, 2016 | Comment icon 3 comments



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)


Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by Infernal Gnu 7 years ago
So ridiculous that we have no lunar colonies at this late date.
Comment icon #2 Posted by BeastieRunner 7 years ago
So ridiculous that we have no lunar colonies at this late date. It's pretty expensive. Kind of like Aldrin said about Mars, everyone needs to work together to make it happen. We're not on a great road to get that one moving.
Comment icon #3 Posted by Sundew 7 years ago
Its a shame terraforming isn't a real possibility, if we could get breathable air and even just a bit of fresh water on the surface then perhaps colonization would be truly worthwhile. But the thought of being in a fishbowl while outside numbing cold, virtually no atmosphere and radiation await is not something that the human psyche is likely to enjoy. Plus I have heard it stated that reason for no surface water and little air is the low gravity; much of it has been lost into space over time. Plus no magnetic field to keep out solar and cosmic radiation. Mars is still a hostile world, just les... [More]


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