Thursday, December 14, 2017
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To The Stars, With Robots

018-1Buzz Aldrin, second human to set foot on the moon (July 20th, 1969), wants America to regain it’s leadership in space. I asked Buzz if he thinks robots will pave the way for the human exploration of space. Without hesitation he exclaimed, “Absolutely!” Buzz said that by putting robots and humans on Mars, we can recommit America to a dominant position in space. The plan Buzz proposes, the Aldrin Mars Cycler, is bold—send up reusable spacecraft that continuously cycle between Earth and our neighbor Mars. That would open the door for permanent human habitat on the red planet. As Buzz puts it, “That’s the only way we’ll ever succeed in taking humanity’s next giant leap: a subway-in-the-sky between our planet and our future second home.”

I told Buzz that as an avid fan of SETI (Search for Extraterrestial Intelligence), I enjoyed his scene in Transformers 3. Buzz: “You cannot believe what we are seeing…” Mission Control: “We are not alone, after all, are we?” Buzz: “No, sir. We are not alone.” While we were on the topic of space movies, Buzz said that two of his favorites are The Right Stuff and Apollo 13.

Looking to the next generation of space and robot enthusiasts, Buzz had this advice: “Success is a matter of being in the right place at the right time – with
preparation! In other words, follow your passion and be all you can be.

Opportunities come to those who work hard.” I asked Buzz if there was anything else he wanted to say in closing. “Ad Astra – to the stars.”

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