The second man to walk on the Moon, Buzz Aldrin, said he wants humans to permanently occupy the planet Mars.
Speaking to the BBC, while wearing a “Get Your Ass to Mars” t-shirt, he said funding for space exploration by the US needs to be at least doubled if humans are going to land on Mars by 2035.
NASA recently said they could put someone in the vicinity of Mars by that year.
We haven’t been funding space as much as it needs to, it’s only half a percent of our Budget. We need more money, maybe double that, then ramp it up by 2035, 2040, as we would need to land people and prepare them for their permanency on Mars.
I think by that time we should have assembled, from Earth, a number of modules that have been landed at every two year opportunity, and then with astronauts at the moon of Mars, they can do the final assembly, and if they are successful, they could land.
When asked did he think the astronauts who travel to Mars should stay there permanently, with no plan for their return, he said:
“Yes, that’s right”, adding that lift-off from the surface of Mars to bring them back to Earth after being on Mars for just over a year would be more expensive.
“The cost per person if we bring them back is a lot higher,” said Aldrin, who said the purpose should be to build a permanent colony on Mars.