Buzz Aldrin makes waves with latest moon vision

Buzz Aldrin
During a discussion presented by the International Academy of Astronautics in Washington, D.C., Apollo 11 moonwalker Buzz Aldrin recalls how enthusiastically he and his crewmates were greeted during a post-mission goodwill tour.(GeekWire Photo / Alan Boyle)

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Apollo 11 moonwalker Buzz Aldrin says there’s no need for the lunar-orbiting Gateway outpost that plays a key role in NASA’s vision to land astronauts on the moon by 2024.

Instead, he envisions a differently configured transportation system that makes use of commercial rockets under the leadership of a “Space Exploration Alliance” that includes China as well as NASA’s current partners.

“I’m not a big fan of the Gateway,” Aldrin said today during a panel discussion presented by the International Academy of Astronautics in conjunction with this week’s International Astronautical Congress in Washington. “I do not believe we need a permanent structure around the moon.”

Aldrin sided with critics who say the Gateway’s benefits as a way station for moon-bound astronauts are outweighed by its limitations and its multibillion-dollar cost.

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By Alan Boyle

Mastermind of Cosmic Log, contributor to GeekWire and Universe Today, author of "The Case for Pluto: How a Little Planet Made a Big Difference," past president of the Council for the Advancement of Science Writing.

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