Since I was a young child Mars held a special fascination for me. It was so close and yet so faraway. I have never doubted that it once had advanced life and still has remnants of that life now. I am a dedicated member of the Mars Society,Norcal Mars Society National Space Society, Planetary Society, And the SETI Institute. I am a supporter of Explore Mars, Inc. I'm a great admirer of Elon Musk and SpaceX. I have a strong feeling that Space X will send a human to Mars first.
Buzz Aldrin, the second person to walk on the moon, is recovering in New Zealand after being evacuated from the South Pole on health concerns.
Mr Aldrin was in Antarctica with White Desert, a luxury tourism operator. He fell ill and was evacuated with a doctor to McMurdo, a US research centre on the continent, and then to Christchurch.
He is “recovering well”, according to his Twitter account.
While the 86-year-old astronaut had fluid in his lungs, he was responding to antibiotics and his condition was stable, White Desert said in a statement. His manager described him as being in good spirits, the company added.
Although [Aldrin] was coming as a tourist, he had lots more to it, as well — a big scientific bent to his reasons
Mr Aldrin’s visit to Antarctica, which took place almost half a century after he set foot on the moon, was related to his support of and curiosity around further space exploration, according to Patrick Woodhead, White Desert’s chief executive.
“Buzz was very interested in coming because he’s obviously very interested in Mars and life on Mars and how humans might colonise and inhabit Mars in the future — Antarctica is a very interesting litmus test for living in those kinds of conditions,” he said. “Although he was coming as a tourist, he had lots more to it, as well — a big scientific bent to his reasons.
“He’s just been the most charming man, and absolutely fascinating to listen to. We’re hoping for a lot more dinner conversation about missions to Mars.”
Mr Aldrin was born on January 20, 1930, in Montclair, New Jersey, and graduated third in his class from the US Military Academy in 1951.
Less than six years after being chosen by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration to become an astronaut, he was one of three to explore the moon’s “Sea of Tranquility” region, on July 20, 1969.
He followed Neil Armstrong, who famously described their walk as “one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind”. Mr Aldrin described the surface he saw as “magnificent desolation”.
He was inducted into the Astronaut Hall of Fame in 1993 and was awarded the Congressional gold medal in 2011.
He has become a popular culture star, appearing on TV shows from Tina Fey’s 30 Rock to The Simpsons. He was a contender on Dancing With the Stars, and in 2009 rapped in a Funny or Die video, “Buzz Aldrin’s Rocket Experience”.
Voicing support for President Barack Obama’s push to increase NASA’s funding, he wrote in 2010 that “as an Apollo astronaut, I know the importance of always pushing new frontiers”. He advocated lowering the cost of access to space, working on technologies “to take us further, faster”, and sending people to Mars and other “exciting destinations, as quickly as possible”.
He closed the statement with a poignant note about the effect of space travel: “I am excited to think that the development of commercial capabilities to send humans into low earth orbit will likely result in so many more earthlings being able to experience the transformative power of space flight. I can personally attest to the fact that the experience results in a different perspective on life on Earth, and on our future as a species.”