For legendary Apollo 11 astronaut Buzz Aldrin, walking the moon in 1969 just wasn't enough. He's inaugurated his very own Buzz Aldrin Space Institute at Florida Tech University (FIT), as he now wants to take on Mars.
Aldrin is best known for the world's first successful spacewalk in 1966, and for setting foot on the moon with Neil Armstrong in 1969. He'll be working as the Florida Tech Research Professor of Aeronautics, and will also be serving as a Senior Faculty Advisor for the Institute. And he said yesterday that he's dead set on promoting human inhabitation of Mars through some hardcore research. His concept, dubbed "Cycling Pathways to Occupy Mars," aims to establish pathways of missions to everything from asteroids, Phobos (Mars's larger moon), and then finally to the surface of Mars.
"I'm thrilled to be partnering with FIT in my new home state of Florida," said Aldrin in a press statement. "I am proud of my time at NASA with the Gemini 12 and Apollo 11 programs but I hope to be remembered more for my contribution to the future. FIT will play a key role in my ongoing legacy and Cycling Pathways to Occupy Mars."
Anthony J. Catanese, Florida Tech president and CEO, said that he was also chuffed to have Aldrin onboard at the University just at a time when humankind was crystallising its vision for space travel and colonisation.
Since retiring from NASA and the US Air Force, Aldrin has been putting serious hours into his Mars master plan. In 1985, he drew up a mission to Mars dubbed the "Aldrin Mars Cycler." This was a spacecraft system that had continuous cycling orbits between Earth and Mars. Since then, Aldrin has received three patents: one for the schematics of a modular space station, another for reusable rockets, and one for multi-crew modules for space flight. He has also set up his own non-profit, ShareSpace Foundation, for promoting science literacy among children, and
Looks like Aldrin's space days are just kicking off again. "You ain't seen nothing yet!" he said.