In 1903 the Wright Brothers amid great jeering and disbelief made their incredible flight at Kittyhawk that ultimately resulted in the invention of modern aircraft. Sixty six years later those who were still alive after the incredible flight were able to bear witness of yet another incredible event. In 1969 Neil Armstrong set foot on the surface of the moon. And ever since that fateful day mankind has been looking for the next step in human exploration. Buzz Aldrin has just announced a plan to take us there.
Calling it his unified space vision, Aldrin recently spoke at the Smithsonian Air and Space museum to speak on his vision for a more comprehensive and cooperative exploration of space that will ultimately land man on Mars by the year 2035, 66 years after mankind first walked on the moon. The plan suggests that we should not get into a competitive space race with China for second place on the moon’s surface. And Mars is not the only achievement expected to be acquired by Earth’s unified space explorers. Asteroids such as Apophis, the potentially deadly asteroid that will be making its way dangerously close to Earth in the coming years have already been a source of great interest by Russia and Japan. With a more collaborative effort, the scientists of Earth can discover information about the solar system and the galaxy at the same time and reappropriate resources to our own specific tasks so thee end result isn’t simply the United States going it alone to the Martian surface, but rather all of Earth’s nations standing together to bring about a new golden age of science and technology. This unified vision of space is important in its diplomatic aspirations as it is in its scientific ones. In Aldrin’s vision China would work alongside the United States rather than engaging in “posturing” by attempting to race once again to the moon. Other allies in this new space alliance would be India, Europe, Japan, and Russia. As it stands, without a proper plan to return to space the United States would be paying Russia’s space program to send astronauts to the international space station.
If we could make a tradition of making an unbelievable leap every sixty six years and proving to those who doubt the indomitable creativity of humans in achieving things far beyond our wildest dreams, we could use this as a benchmark to continue to progress technologically as a species for the betterment and survival of our species. Such a move could actually work to make us more likely to colonize other worlds and spread our population throughout the entire galaxy. Imagine the technological and cultural achievements of a species that was not confined to one world, but could work independently and with the cooperation of those inhabiting other star systems. Even without the possibility of encountering an alien species, if technology changed monumentally every 66 years there’s no limit to what we could ultimately achieve. Buzz Aldrin’s future is one many scientists would like to live in.