With NASA not really lighting the solar system on fire with tangible plans to get humans to Mars, some private spacefaring companies hope to carry us to the Red Planet — and now one of America’s most famous astronauts has thrown his support behind one of the most controversial missions.
While speaking at a panel for MIT's AeroAstro 100 conference in Massachusetts, Apollo 11 astronaut Buzz Aldrin opened up about his thoughts on future plans to get humans to Mars. Specifically, Aldrin offered his thoughts on Mars One — you know, the one that’d turn the whole thing into a reality TV series — and said he’s actually in favor of the one-way mission.
Aldrin said he looks at the situation from a simple perspective of cost, noting that we’d likely be better served by making an effort to keep a settlement on the planet after spending so much time, effort and money to get them there. But once we’d established a working base, then consider some return trips if necessary:
“It [will] cost the world — and the U.S. — billions and billions of dollars to put these people there, and you're going to bring them back? What are you going to do when you bring them back here that can possibly compare [to] the value that they would be if they stayed there and Mars wasn't empty? And then, they helped to work with the next group and it builds up a cadre of people. When we've got 100 — or whatever it is — then we start bringing people back.”
Considering that Aldrin is among the few humans to actually set foot on the moon, it stands to reason that his opinion is one to at least consider. We’d also have to agree, to a degree. Mars One’s plan is to send humans on a one-way trip to establish a colony, and though the logistics are up for debate, it almost seems a bit silly to travel that far to just hang out a few days and come back home.
What do you think? Would you sign up for a one-way trip to Mars?