Buzz Aldrin, the second man to walk on the moon – Neil Armstrong was the first, in 1969 – has a new mission: to settle planet Mars with people by 2040.
He teamed up with the Florida Institute of Technology to create a “master plan” for colonization within the next 25 years, the Guardian reported.
Aldrin’s role will be as research professor of aeronautics and senior faculty adviser. And his hope is for NASA to accept the master plan and work toward reaching its objectives. Already, NASA is trying to launch astronauts to Mars by the mid-2030s.
Aldrin, 85, who’s going to open the Buzz Aldrin Space Institute in the coming weeks, likened his Mars mission hopes to the founding of America.
“The Pilgrims on the Mayflower came here to live and stay,” he said, the Guardian reported. “They didn’t wait around Plymouth Rock for the return trip and neither will people building up a population and a settlement [on Mars.]”
Two other astronauts have joined the Florida institute to press for Mars settlement: Winston Scott and Sam Durrance.
Aldrin was with Armstrong on the Apollo 11 flight to the moon in July 1969, along with Michael Collins. Armstrong was the first to step on the moon; Aldrin followed him a short time later to explore, snap photographs and collect samples.