As humans work towards making the seemingly impossible dream of colonizing Mars come true, former astronaut Buzz Aldrin thinks that Elon Musk's ambitious Mars mission plans may have a problem.
Aldrin is not the first to remark that the colonization of the Red Planet may not be easy as scientists at NASA have echoed the same sentiment. Survival on Mars will largely be hinged on how efficiently humans can adapt, as well as low-tech solutions according to experts.
Aldrin, who was a part of the Apollo 11 mission in July 1969 and as the Lunar Module Pilot was the second person to walk on moon, believes that the SpaceX CEO's strategies for the colonization of the Red Planet are "bodacious."
Musk's Proposed Plan
In September 2016, Musk made public his plans of colonizing and traveling to Mars. The proposed plan had a detailed outline of the spaceships and rocket boosters needed to travel. However, the plan falls short of information on how habitable settlement can be created when people arrive on Mars.
The Problems With Musk's Plan
Aldrin is respectful of Musk's plans, however, he believes that the SpaceX CEO has a myopic view and instead of focusing on what people will do upon their arrival on Mars, he is channeling all his energy on the travel.
The 87-year-old asserted that Musk was more of a "transportation person" and reminisced that he had spoken to the latter on his Mars mission plans nearly three to four years back.
According to Aldrin, Musk's was more about how to reach Mars aboard the supposed spacecraft dubbed Dragon.
"'We know how to get to Mars. We are going to build a big rocket, put a dragon on top, and go land on Mars," surmised Aldrin of Musk's response to the query.
The astronaut also quizzed Musk on the ensuing steps after the spacecraft lands on the Red Planet with people on board. He asked Musk if there would be "be anything down there for you to live in or do." To which Musk reportedly said that an unmanned rocket would first make its way to Mars.
However, Aldrin thinks that the SpaceX CEO has not given the process thought. The astronaut gives Musk the benefit by saying that he is more of a "transportation person" and not a "housing" one.
The practical aspect of a Mars colony has possibly been missed by Musk according to the astronaut. Going to Mars is not a day trip and it's not like one goes to the planet, stays a day and returns to Earth. One would need to stay a minimum of one and half years on Mars, said Aldrin. That is why it is important that people have something concrete awaiting them.
"You have got to live in something. You have to prepare for all of that," asserts Aldrin.
Musk, on the other hand, hardly has any strategy — at least one which he has shared publically — on how humans will be able to survive and adapt after reaching Mars.
Even though the plans for settling on Mars are still theoretical at this juncture, Aldrin feels that it should not stay restricted to being a mere theory. He feels that things should be formulated in such a manner that human habitat can also seem to be possible on Mars.
"Our purpose, I believe, is to settle the planet Mars and I think that should be our objective," he notes.