Could humans be living on Mars by 2039 ?
Having teamed up with the Florida Institute of Technology, Aldrin is looking to develop a ‘master plan’ for a colony on mars to be completed in time to mark the 70th anniversary of the first moon landing.
The 85-year-old, who took part in a signing ceremony on Thursday, will serve as both a research professor of aeronautics and a senior faculty adviser for the institute.
Aldrin’s vision of a future settlement on Mars is in stark contrast to the “one-way trip” concept popularized by the controversial Mars One project and would instead see astronauts living and working on Mars for up to ten years at a time before returning home.
The veteran astronaut has also proposed using the two moons of Mars, Phobos and Deimos, as a staging area to make it easier to move both equipment and astronauts to and from the surface.
His vision for the future is certainly not outside the realm of possibility – especially given that NASA has already been working on its next generation rocket and space vehicle with the aim of placing a human on mars at some point within the next 25 years.
While Aldrin himself will probably not be around to see it happen, there is a distinct chance that his plan to see humanity travel far beyond where even he has tread could ultimately become a reality.