Melbourne: US astronaut Buzz Aldrin, the second man to walk on the Moon, has laid out an ambitious plan of setting up a human colony on Mars within the next two decades. The 83-year-old astronaut, who joined the late Neil Armstrong for a globally watched and remembered leap on the Moon in 1969 has revealed his plans to have a human colony on the Red Planet by the mid 2030s in his new book.
Having his sight set on the next big step for man: Mars, Aldrin said he wanted to inspire children to be interested in space, 'news.com.au' reported. "We need more kids to be adventurous and curious about what's out there," he said.
"We need the next generation to be our Mars generation. I'm very passionate about getting man to Mars and starting a colony there. I've outlined my plan of how to get us there in my new book, Mission to Mars coming out by National Geographic in May of this year," Aldrin said.
Aldrin is also starting a competition that will give Australians the chance to take a once-in-a-lifetime journey into space, the report said. One Australian will be granted a seat aboard the Lynx spacecraft to be taken more than 100 km into space.
Commenting on how he sees space travel in 50 years time, Aldrin said: "We're already seeing commercial space travel become a reality and I think this will continue to grow and become less expensive as technology improves. I want to eventually see commercial flights that orbit the earth."
Asked what it takes to become an astronaut, Aldrin said one has to be "brave, enthusiastic and a team player. You also need to be mentally tough. Probably most important though is having a strong stomach! These are the exact attributes we'll be judging the Lynx contestants on when they come to space camp in Florida next year."