Feeds

Apollo 11 vets urge Mars mission

Forget the Moon, say Aldrin and Collins

Business security measures using SSL

Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins have urged NASA to scrub its lunar ambitions and set its sights on Mars, the BBC reports.

Speaking at an Apollo 11 reunion of the pair and Neil Armstrong at Washington DC's National Air and Space Museum, marking the 40th anniversary of the first Moon landing, Collins said: "I worry that the current emphasis on returning to the Moon will cause us to become ensnared in a technological briar patch, needlessly delaying for decades the exploration of Mars - a much more worthwhile destination."

Aldrin, who recently roundly condemned the current NASA plan to return to the Moon by 2020 as "a glorified rehash of what we did 40 years ago", said: "Apollo 11 is a symbol of what a great nation and a great people can do if we work hard, work together and have strong leaders with vision and determination.

"The best way to honour and remember all those who were part of the Apollo programme is to follow in our footsteps; to boldly go again on a new mission of exploration."

Their call is backed by former White House spokesman Bob Weiner and policy analyst Zoe Pagonis, who last Friday released a statement calling on NASA to "focus on the dream of travelling to other planets and reverse [its] satisfaction with the mundane".

The pair said: "The news for NASA now is a pale comparison to 1969. Forty years later, we have to ask, what happened to man and woman on Mars and Venus? By now we thought we'd even reach Pluto."

They added: "Commuter shuttles to a space station close-in and use of robots have been a sad substitute. It wasn't and isn't all we can do - we saw that's nonsense with our own eyes. Man on the Moon was the most profound scientific achievement of our lifetimes - and was too long ago."

While NASA has pulled out all the stops to celebrate its 40th lunar anniversary, it is arguably bogged down in the expensive Constellation programme, which promises little more than the "glorified rehash" of past triumphs.

Neil Armstrong, though, was on hand to remind the Washington audience of just how great an achievement the Apollo programme was. He said: "It was the ultimate peaceful competition: USA vs USSR. I'll not assert that it was a diversion which prevented a war, nevertheless it was a diversion.

"Eventually, it provided a mechanism for engendering co-operation between former adversaries. In that sense, among others, it was an exceptional national investment for both sides." ®

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

More from The Register

next story
SCREW YOU, Russia! NASA lobs $6.8bn at Boeing AND SpaceX to run space station taxis
Musk charging nearly half as much as Boeing for crew trips
PORTAL TO ELSEWHERE scried in small galaxy far, far away
Supermassive black hole dominates titchy star formation
Boffins say they've got Lithium batteries the wrong way around
Surprises at the nano-scale mean our ideas about how they charge could be all wrong
Edge Research Lab to tackle chilly LOHAN's final test flight
Our US allies to probe potential Vulture 2 servo freeze
Europe prepares to INVADE comet: Rosetta landing site chosen
No word yet on whether backup site is labelled 'K'
Cracked it - Vulture 2 power podule fires servos for 4 HOURS
Pixhawk avionics juice issue sorted, onwards to Spaceport America
City hidden beneath England's Stonehenge had HUMAN ABATTOIR. And a pub
Boozed-up ancients drank beer before tearing corpses apart
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
Protecting users from Firesheep and other Sidejacking attacks with SSL
Discussing the vulnerabilities inherent in Wi-Fi networks, and how using TLS/SSL for your entire site will assure security.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.