It’s been 40 years since Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin Jr. became the second human in history to set foot on the moon. Though he retired from NASA not long after the Apollo 11 mission, he’s still awfully vocal about how important space remains, and why we need to explore it.
ADVENTURE: It took less than a decade for us to figure out how to get to the moon. Shouldn’t we have gone to Mars by now?
Buzz Aldrin: We really aren’t ready to do that. I think it’s a problem of will. I don’t think we’ve inspired ourselves. We haven’t been moving in a direction that clearly evolves toward exploration.
A: Why is that?
BA: The funding went down. A president came in who was not so friendly as the president that committed us to go to the moon, yet he took credit for reaching the moon and oversaw the disabling of that system. And then we embarked on something that didn’t succeed really at all: the shuttle system.