Buzz Aldrin: The Gizmodo Interview

"The world resists change."

So sayeth Buzz Aldrin, the first man to land a man-made craft on the moon. While others obsess over who put their foot on the surface first, this is the guy who piloted the craft that touched down while Armstrong hitched along. In our one-on-one video interview with the man himself, we hear an inspiring voice for reaching out to space, why it is important, and what's holding humanity back from achieving its long-term potential.

Aldrin seeks international and private co-operation in space, and sees NASA heading in the wrong direction by continuing to focus on a return to the moon. For Aldrin, our next step should be a series of leaps toward a series of one-way trips to Mars to begin a colony in the name of research and further long-term thinking. Read his excellent Popular Mechanics feature on the subject here (which we discuss early in the interview, and how his outlook has changed since writing this piece).

As a person, Buzz is inspiring in his passion and drive to keep pushing the "boldly go" message.


Comments

    I think you'll find if you check your history books it was Armstrong who piloted the LM down to the surface, whilst Aldrin called out the distance / height to go. No disrespect to Buzz - still a great and brave guy, but Armstrong actually took the LM out of 'autopilot' mode, and landed it manually, when they overshot the nominated landing spot, and ended up over a large number of boulders etc. Armstrong coolly sought out a new landing spot, despite being concerned at low remaining fuel, and computer alarms.

      Don't let fact get in the way of a Gizmodo story :\

      To add to my original comment, which understates the risks to Neil Armstrong & Buzz Aldrin, they could have;

      a) landed in right place, but hit a rock, toppling the 4 legged LM over, killing them both, or making return to Mike Collins in the CSM impossible
      b) sought out a better landing place, and run out of fuel, crashing before reaching it;

      We must also never forget this was not like landing a plane at a (regional) airport on Earth; failure in any shape meant either 'instantaneous' death, (crashing into the moon; fuels exploding, or being unable to take off again;

      even if successful in landing, they still had to return to lunar orbit, to rendezvous with Mike Collins), but a failed return to lunar orbit would have condemned both men to a slow lingering death, (food runs out, oxygen runs out, no hope of rescue).

      The ascent stage of the LM had a single engine, (as did the descent stage), and every part of it was reduced to the simplest possible; relied on two fuels that burned when mixed, no spark plug, no moving parts etc.

      Collins had no hope of rescuing them if they couldn't lift off from the Moon, and would have returned to Earth alone. (It takes 3 days each way to the Moon).

      Very brave men, and probably the greatest engineering / scientific project in the history, (to date), of humankind.

      Yep, despite the title of Lunar Module Pilot, Buzz didn't actually fly the LM. He was possibly a pilot in the sense of the pilots that lead large ships into unfamiliar harbours.

    Great video... but how about a player that will work without flash ?

      How about using a device that supports flash? :)

      Also credit to gizmodo for allowing both positive and negative comments about a story, sometimes the reporting disappoints me here but the fact you allow people to say so gets close to making up for it :)

    Buzz Aldrin is a dude, more people should think like this.

    @Gavin: I know right, he's pretty awesome.

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