In a 4-hour special, Buzz Aldrin, Richard C. Hoagland, Howard Bloom, and Robert Zubrin discussed the future of the space program, and how branching out to space is more important now than ever. "A nation that looks up, goes up; a nation that looks down goes down. A nation without a sense of a new frontier begins to cave in upon itself...nations make their own resources by opening up radical new frontiers," said multi-disciplinary scientist Bloom, who argued for America staying in the forefront with their space program. One asteroid has up to 17 trillion dollars of resources, with minerals like platinum and lithium that are used for electric vehicles, he noted.
Bloom said he supports private efforts such as Elon Musk's Space X rocket, as well as Aldrin's Unified Space Vision. Joining him in the first half of the show, Apollo astronaut and rocket scientist Buzz Aldrin outlined a plan in which NASA could land on the Martian moon Phobos in 2022 and set up a base, with eventual landings on Mars itself by 2031. Aldrin also said that he supports an international effort to develop the moon with partners such as China and India.
In the second half of the program, founder of the Mars Society, Robert Zubrin and C2C Science Advisor Richard C. Hoagland discussed and sometimes debated space issues. Zubrin stated he was not in favor of the Obama space plan, and that instead "our goal should be to send humans to Mars by the end of the decade." Hoagland believes Obama has taken bad advice (from John Holdren in particular) in formulating NASA's mission plan. He also talked about the artificiality of NASA's moon Phobos. Zubrin disagreed that Phobos was artificial and argued that we shouldn't bother building a base on it, when the real discoveries (and settlements) were to be made on Mars.
America's future is in the skies. So is the future of all mankind. Here, says Buzz Aldrin, the second man on the moon, is where we will make humanity multi-planetary. Step one is to develop a private sector space taxi that can take humans to the International Space Station and bring them back – inexpensively. Step two is a permanent exploration vehicle that stays in space, a vehicle we can use to shuttle back and forth from moon orbit to earth orbit, or that we can use to reach the resources of the sky – the trillions of dollars worth of platinum, lithium, gallium and more in asteroids, or in the massive flying snowballs of potential rocket fuel called comets.
Step three is to develop a heavy lift vehicle that can get large amounts of cargo into space for a lower cost than the $14,000/lb we've spent in the past. Step four is to lead an international effort with China, India, Russia, Japan and Europe to develop the raw materials for steel, glass, microchips, tourism and energy on the moon.
Step five, use our deep space exploration vehicle for a new first for the human race – landing on asteroids and comets. Step six, we build a habitat on Mars' moon Phobos. A base from which we can explore and build on the Martian surface. And finally, we create man's first presence on Mars. All of Buzz Aldrin’s Unified Space Vision is doable within the president's new space program. The goal? Take the resource load off of earth. Bring space to life by bringing life to space. On behalf of the entire human race.