Buzz Aldrin Reddit AMA: First humans to land on Mars should stay on Red Planet, says former astronaut

The 84-year-old also described the moment he landed on the moon

Buzz Aldrin, the second man to walk on the moon, has said that the first people to land on Mars should never return to Earth.

The former astronaut made the statement during an AMA, or Ask Me Anything, session on the website Reddit to mark the 45th anniversary of the Apollo 11 landing on 20 July.

One Redditor asked the 84-year-old about the prospect of humans staying on Mars permanently, in light of a prediction made by Space X founder Elon Musk that astronauts could visit the planet within the next decade.

Aldrin replied: “I have considered whether a landing on Mars could be done by the private sector.

"It conflicts with my very strong idea, concept, conviction, that the first human beings to land on Mars should not come back to Earth.

“They should be the beginning of a build-up of a colony or settlement. I call it a permanence.”

U.S. astronaut Edwin E. 'Buzz' Aldrin, Jr., Lunar Module pilot on Apollo 11, poses for a portrait taken in July 1969. He and mission Commander Neil Armstrong were the first persons to land on the Moon. U.S. astronaut Edwin E. 'Buzz' Aldrin, Jr., Lunar Module pilot on Apollo 11, poses for a portrait taken in July 1969. He and mission Commander Neil Armstrong were the first persons to land on the Moon.

He added: “To have an individual company, no matter how smart, send people to Mars and bring them back, it is very, very expensive. It delays the obtaining of permanence.”

Aldrin went on to disregard suggested that it would be a “suicide mission".

Buzz Aldrin pictured in May 2014 Buzz Aldrin pictured in May 2014
The 84-year-old also gave Reddit users an insight into his experience on the moon.

“My first words of my impression of being on the surface of the moon that just came to my mind was 'magnificent desolation'.”

“The magnificence of human beings, humanity, Planet Earth, maturing the technologies, imagination and courage to expand our capabilities beyond the next ocean, to dream about being on the moon, and then taking advantage of increases in technology and carrying out that dream – achieving that is magnificent testimony to humanity.

“But it is also desolate – there is no place on earth as desolate as what I was viewing in those first moments on the lunar surface,” he said.

Aldrin went on to praise Oscar-winning movie Gravity. “I thought that the movie Gravity, the depiction of people moving around in zero gravity, was really the best I have seen," he said.

Other famous names that have chosen to engage with fans directly via Reddit AMAs include members of rock band The National, and Anchorman actor Will Ferrell.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs People

Recruitment Genius: HR and Payroll Manager

£35000 - £38000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This dynamic outsourced contact...

Recruitment Genius: Production & Quality Control Assistant

£19000 - £21000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An excellent opportunity for a ...

Ashdown Group: Group HR Advisor - Kettering - £32,000

£28000 - £32000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Group HR Advisor with an established...

Guru Careers: HR Manager / HR Generalist

£40 - 50k (DOE) + Bonus: Guru Careers: We are seeking a HR Manager / HR Genera...

Day In a Page

No postcode? No vote

Floating voters

How living on a houseboat meant I didn't officially 'exist'
Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin

By Reason of Insanity

Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin
Power dressing is back – but no shoulderpads!

Power dressing is back

But banish all thoughts of Eighties shoulderpads
Spanish stone-age cave paintings 'under threat' after being re-opened to the public

Spanish stone-age cave paintings in Altamira 'under threat'

Caves were re-opened to the public
'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'

Vince Cable interview

'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'
Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

The only direction Zayn could go

We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

Spells like teen spirit

A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

Licence to offend in the land of the free

Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

From farm to fork in Cornwall

One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

Robert Parker interview

The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor