Buzz: Forget Moon, Let's Go to Mars
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 16, 2009 1:26 AM CDT
In this July 20, 1969 file photo, Apollo 11 astronauts Neil Armstrong and Edwin E. "Buzz" Aldrin, the first men to land on the moon, plant the US flag on the lunar surface.    (AP Photo/NASA, file)
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(Newser) – America should boldly turn its space program toward colonizing Mars instead of trying to retrace the dusty footprints that he and Neil Armstrong made on the Moon 40 years ago, Buzz Aldrin writes in the Washington Post on the anniversary of Apollo 11's launch. NASA's attempt to resume lunar exploration will end up like its predecessor, "a dead end littered with broken spacecraft, broken dreams and broken policies," Aldrin writes.

"The Moon is a lifeless, barren world, its stark desolation matched by its hostility to all living things." Let the Moon be a global commons, Aldrin writes, while America forges ahead to Mars, inspiring a new generation to aim for "the first homestead in space: an American colony" on a new world. "Our Apollo days were a time when we did bold things in space to achieve leadership," Aldrin concludes. "It is time we were bold again in space."