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.