Feeds

Apollo 11 vets urge Mars mission

Forget the Moon, say Aldrin and Collins

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

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." ®

Intelligent flash storage arrays

More from The Register

next story
Bond villains lament as Wicked Lasers withdraw death ray
Want to arm that shark? Better get in there quick
Renewable energy 'simply WON'T WORK': Top Google engineers
Windmills, solar, tidal - all a 'false hope', say Stanford PhDs
SEX BEAST SEALS may be egging each other on to ATTACK PENGUINS
Boffin: 'I think the behaviour is increasing in frequency'
Reuse the Force, Luke: SpaceX's Elon Musk reveals X-WING designs
And a floating carrier for recyclable rockets
Antarctic ice THICKER than first feared – penguin-bot boffins
Robo-sub scans freezing waters, rocks warming models
The next big thing in medical science: POO TRANSPLANTS
Your brother's gonna die, kid, unless we can give him your, well ...
NASA launches new climate model at SC14
75 days of supercomputing later ...
Britain's HUMAN DNA-strewing Moon mission rakes in £200k
3 days, and Kickstarter moves lander 37% nearer takeoff
Your PHONE is slowly KILLING YOU
Doctors find new Digitillnesses - 'text neck' and 'telepressure'
prev story

Whitepapers

Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
10 ways wire data helps conquer IT complexity
IT teams can automatically detect problems across the IT environment, spot data theft, select unique pieces of transaction payloads to send to a data source, and more.
5 critical considerations for enterprise cloud backup
Key considerations when evaluating cloud backup solutions to ensure adequate protection security and availability of enterprise data.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?