Editorial Cartoon by Graeme MacKay, The Hamilton Spectator – Monday July 20, 2009
Astronauts call for mission to Mars
On the eve of the 40th anniversary of the man’s first steps on the moon on July 20, 1969, Buzz Aldrin said Mars should become the focus of renewed commitment to space travel.
The second man to walk on the lunar surface, he called for the United States to set a goal of reaching the planet by 2035: “To realise that dream we need a unified space vision. The greatest challenge for us is this: ‘Americans, do you still dream great dreams?’, ‘Do you still believe in yourselves, are you ready for a great national challenge?'”
Speaking at a commemorative event at Washington’s National Air and Space Museum, the 79-year-old called on the next generation and our political leaders to follow the president’s campaign slogan of “Yes we can!”
Neil Armstrong, the Apollo 11 commander and the first man on the moon, made a rare public appearance and offered tacit support for his former colleagues. Touting the benefits from the Cold War competition with the USSR to reach the moon, he said: “It was the ultimate peaceful competition. I won’t go as far as to say it prevented war, but it was a diversion, it allowed both sides to take the high road with objectives in science and engineering and provided an engine for cooperation.” (Source: Telegraph)