Michael Collins, Apollo 11 astronaut, does not want NASA to go to the Moon again. Instead, he would like for the organization to face the more significant challenge directly, in the spirit of breaking down barriers, and go to Mars. This statement coincides with the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 mission.
The Moon and Mars
The US has a human-crewed mission planned to land on the lunar surface by 2024. This mission will see the first woman to set foot on the Moon. These astronauts would be the first humans to set foot on the lunar South Pole. Plans are currently circulating for a touchdown on Mars after 2030.
Michael Collins believes that the US and NASA should shoot directly for Mars, probably because he’s bored with the Moon already. Collins made the following comments: “The current plan has been well thought out, but I disagree with it, we should shoot directly for Mars. Twenty-some years ago, I even wrote a book, a whole boring book, on a mission to Mars, and I have always been a believer in Mars.”
NASA is not alone in wishing to conduct further exploration on the Moon, as many countries and organizations across the world would like to probe the surface. Much discussion has been had over the newly discovered water reserves that are located beneath the surface of the South Pole. Furthermore, the area on the Moon is believed to house ancient and exotic materials that may date back to the early days of the solar system. This would help scientists understand more about space and the origin of life.
Apollo 11 and JFK
The former astronaut has advised honoring President John F. Kennedy by naming the future Mars mission after him. Mentioning that his inspiring leadership saw 400.000 Americans working on the Moon project and wholeheartedly believing in it.
Kennedy made a televised appearance in 1961, and he declared that America would send a human-crewed mission to the lunar surface by the end of that decade. His speech is currently iconic, but it reached many hearts and minds at the time as well. And allowed people to put the extra effort to make it happen.