When it was announced that this administration was redefining space-related goals (and, many seemed not to notice, increasing NASA funding by $6bn) there were mixed reactions. We’d already spent a bundle on moon mission stuff, but it was over budget and behind schedule. Nobody wants to abandon the moon, but man, we’ve got people floating in space right now who need funding, fuel, upgrades, and all that.
Well, someone thinks the funding plan is a good idea. You might have heard him talk before — you know, when he was walking on the moon.
Here is Buzz Aldrin’s full statement on the topic. I don’t put it here to be political — I put it here because this guy went the moon, and if I had my way his word would be law.
Today I wish to endorse strongly the President’s new direction for NASA. As an Apollo astronaut, I know the importance of always pushing new frontiers as we explore space.
The truth is that we have already been to the Moon—some 40 years ago.
A near-term focus on lowering the cost of access to space and on developing key, cutting-edge technologies to take us further, faster, is just what our Nation needs to maintain its position as the leader in space exploration for the rest of this century.
We need to be in this for the long haul, and this program will allow us to again be pushing the boundaries to achieve new and challenging things beyond Earth.
I hope NASA will embrace this new direction as much as I do, and help us all continue to use space exploration to drive prosperity and innovation right here on Earth.
I also believe the steps we will be taking following the President’s direction will best position NASA and other space agencies to send humans to Mars and other exciting destinations as quickly as possible.
To do that, we will need to support many types of game-changing technologies NASA and its partners will be developing. Mars is the next frontier for humankind, and NASA will be leading the way there if we aggressively support the President’s plans.
Finally, I am excited to think that the development of commercial capabilities to send humans into low-Earth orbit will likely result in so many more Earthlings being able to experience the transformative power of spaceflight.
I can personally attest to the fact that the experience results in a different perspective on life on Earth, and on our future as a species. I applaud the President for working to make this dream a reality.
There you have it. Besides, we’ll get back to the moon in good time. We’ve got freaking RC robots rolling around on Mars. You think we can’t go to the moon when we feel it’s convenient? Come on!