Page 3 Profile: Buzz Aldrin, astronaut

 

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The Independent Online

Superman to the rescue?

His pose may be reminiscent of the iconic comic-book hero, but while standing at Stonehenge, astronaut Buzz Aldrin was actually urging humans to colonise Mars. The 85-year-old later tweeted: “While at Stonehenge I decided to send a message to the cosmos.”

Quite the space cadet, isn’t he?

After flying out on Apollo 11 in 1969, Aldrin, from New Jersey, was the second man to step foot on the Moon after Neil Armstrong. The former fighter pilot has spent, in total, 12 days in space.

So he believes in life on Mars?

Writing for The New York Times in 2013, Aldrin said: “The real calling [was] Mars,” and wrote: “I’ve championed the creation of spacecraft to be placed on continuous loops between Mars and Earth, thereby putting in place a pathway to sustainability that forever links the two planets… Our Earth isn’t the only world for us any more.”

Engines ready?

Not quite yet. “In my view, US resources are better spent on moving toward establishing a human presence on Mars,” he said. Organisation Mars One, based in Holland, is one step closer and plans on establishing the first colony on the red planet within the decade. More than 200,000 wannabe astronauts applied to take part in the mission.

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see it’s a big task.

One of the final 100 candidates for the Mars One mission, Joseph Roche, does not believe he will see a one-way mission to the planet in his lifetime. “As much as I would love to be one of the first interplanetary scientists, a potential mission to Mars remains, for the moment, beyond our reach,” he said.

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