TAMPA, Fla. (CBS Tampa) – Astronaut Buzz Aldrin wants astronauts to visit an asteroid that’s in deep space.
The famed moonwalker was speaking at the Humans 2 Mars Summit being held in Washington, D.C. on April 22 where he shared his thoughts about NASA’s plan on launching a robotic mission that aims to capture an asteroid or a smaller boulder from a space rock.
NASA wants the robot to deliver it to an orbit around the moon so that astronauts can visit and sample it.
“I sure do not think bringing a rock back is better than what the president said – a human mission to an asteroid in 2025 – but send a robot there first so the two get there at the same time,” Aldrin shared according to Space.com.
Using NASA’s Space Launch System rocket and Orion space capsule, Aldrin would rather send an astronaut crew to an asteroid. The crew would be able to operate the asteroid-exploring robot with no time delay, he explained.
Aldrin also explained that an internationally co-operative base on Mars should be established by humans. He thinks that an insightful leader could make that into reality if they made it a priority.
“That is a legacy that will last in history for a very long time,” Aldrin said. “We need to convince people of doing that, and maybe I’ll retire. I kind of doubt it … There are a lot of people that think this is an ‘egghead’ idea, so I’ve got to hang around and smarten them up.”