Buzz Aldrin thinks NASA should focus on Mars exploration

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Buzz Aldrin argues that NASA should drop a number of existing major programs to focus on Mars exploration.

In an op-ed, the Apollo 11 moonwalker said the International Space Station, Space Launch System and Orion were “eating up every piece of the NASA budget” and preventing the agency from doing anything serious about human Mars exploration.

“Again, we’re not going anywhere if we don’t do something about these issues,” he wrote.

He called on the National Space Council to convince the president to “commit to a continued occupation of Mars with international crews” on the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 landing in 2019. [The Hill]


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As controversy surrounds one major observatory in Hawaii, another is being built with far fewer problems. The Daniel K. Inouye Solar Telescope on Haleakalā, on the island of Maui, will achieve a milestone this week with the arrival of its four-meter primary mirror. The telescope, the largest in the world devoted to observing the sun, is set to begin operations in 2019. Its development has progressed despite protests and controversy surrounding the Thirty Meter Telescope on Maunakea, which observers attribute to a variety of factors, from different approaches to public relations and management to the presence of a national park on Haleakalā that limits access to the summit. [Science]