Who Needs NASA – [Buzz Aldrin Excerpt]

  • Jan 01, 2000
  • By: Dan Brekke

If anyone was inclined to head home from the conference early, Buzz Aldrin’s scheduled appearance on the last day squelches it. While he talks of plans for a transworld shuttle that could orbit Earth and Mars, it matters little what he says about the Red Planet. What matters is the place he occupies in the space movement. Aldrin embodies the point where the spectacular success of the Apollo program intersects with the dreams of mass spaceflight and the growing frustration with the inefficiency in the space-industrial complex. No one – not even Zubrin – is more frustrated with NASA than Aldrin.

He says he can build a reusable rocket booster that will lead to airline- style tourism while taking care of future launch needs for NASA and the Pentagon. What he doesn’t know – even after half a century as a pilot, 290 hours in space, and a lifetime as a military commander, scientist, and entrepreneur – is how to get power players to act on his advice.

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