Buzz Aldrin – TRAVEL + LEISURE, April, 2005
Buzz travels the world advocating space privatization, and with that the accessibility of space for the average citizen. He has worked to share the experience of space travel, normally reserved for NASA’s elite astronauts, with the public at large since America’s Shuttle fleet first started flying in the 1980’s. To spread the high-priced opportunity of space travel to the masses, Buzz conceived of a national space lottery. The lottery concept was the genesis for the formation of Buzz Aldrin’s ShareSpace Foundation, along with its nonprofit mission of the three “E’s”: to prepare the public for space flight Experiences, advance human space Exploration, and encourage science Education for up and coming generations.
When the Shuttle started flying, with its plane-like runway-landing design and its seven-crewmember capacity, the door opened for ordinary people to participate in space flight. NASA flew two Congressional members on Shuttle missions (Senator Jake Garn, Discovery STS-51D, April 12-19, 1985, and Senator Bill Nelson, Columbia STS-61C, January 12-18, 1986), and Buzz supported singer John Denver’s interest in flying on the January 28, 1986 Challenger mission. It was high school teacher Christa McAuliffe, however, who was selected for this ill-fated mission under NASA’s Teacher in Space Program. A little over one minute after launch the Challenger exploded. This tragedy, along with the Columbia Shuttle accident, lost upon re-entry on February 1, 2003, dampened NASA’s program to include civilians on its missions.
Since the new millennium, privatization of space has opened further opportunities. Buzz heralded the flight of American businessman and friend Denis Tito on Russia’s Soyuz to the International Space Station in 2001 as the world’s first paying “space tourist.” But it came at a cost of nearly $20 million. The Russian Space Agency’s price for these seats keeps going up – $30 million as of the sixth private space explorer to fly, Richard Garriott (son of Skylab astronaut Owen Garriott). Buzz has also supported the X PRIZE Foundation’s efforts to stimulate private development of suborbital spacecraft (for flights 62 miles up to the edge of the Earth’s atmosphere) via its $10 million Ansari X Prize – won by SpaceShipOne, as developed by Burt Rutan’s Scaled Composites and financier Paul Allen, in 2004. Today, a number of companies are working to make suborbital flights commercially available at ticket prices of around $200,000.
Buzz’s mantra, however, is to get people into orbit… on StarBooster spacelines that will carry 100 passengers… for week-long stays at modular space hotels… on trips to circumnavigate his favorite spot at the Sea of Tranquility on the Moon… and then, colonization of Mars! High frequency of flights is key to bringing the cost of space travel down. Spreading public enthusiasm for the space travel experience is key to stimulating demand. Hence, the lottery to spread the opportunity and enthusiasm to the masses. While these dreams become reality, you might catch Buzz on a zero gravity flight where you can experience weightlessness without going into space.
To learn more about ShareSpace, and join the cause, please visit www.ShareSpace.org
The Buzz on Sharespace Lottery
The lottery approach is at the heart of a concept that for self-evident reasons I have termed ‘ShareSpace.’ The purpose of ShareSpace is to use the lottery approach to strengthen and accelerate the growth of commercial space, and at the same time create a highly participatory “citizens” space program. The raison d’etre of ShareSpace is the furtherance of human opportunities and activities in space….
Prizes that could be offered today include visits to space launches, tours of space-related scientific facilities, and high-altitude zero-gravity flight experiences. Prizes that could be offered in the relatively near future include suborbital ballistic flights above the atmosphere, orbital flights, and eventually adventure trips to luxury orbital hotels. In the very long term, there is no inherent reason why prizes could not include low-altitude cycler circumnavigation of the Moon, or even extended cycler journeys to Mars.
Buzz Aldrin – Ad Astra, May/June 1998
Like they did with the railroads, airmail and communications satellites, the government can help spawn a huge space tourism enterprise. I believe the government should stimulate a large-volume space tourism industry. And we can do that by carrying people in the space shuttle. To me, there’s no reason why two to three people a year can’t be trained as observers for shuttle rides. Game show winners, lotteries and other promotional or entertainment selection processes, could help fill shuttle seats with off-the-street citizens.
Buzz Aldrin – “The Tito Trek: The Benchmark for Public Space Travel.” Space.com. April 25, 2001
I want to increase the opportunity for more people to share in going into orbit. I think I can establish a controlled, legal, highly productive, random selection of small investments by people and a selection process that works like a lottery. The experience that you win is nontransferable. You put a name down when you buy a ticket, and that person has to use it or lose it.
Buzz Aldrin – Popular Mechanics, August 14, 2008