My Day with Buzz Aldrin

Today, I attended the Committee on Rationale and Goals of U.S. Civil Space Program meeting in Washington DC.   Dr. Buzz Aldrin was testifying, (member of the National Space Society Board of Governors).  He made it very entertaining.

First, Neil DeGrasse Tyson spoke. Dr. Tyson was making a point that the United States is not the space pioneering nation, we like to think of ourselves and said “We redefined the contest to be whoever gets to the Moon first, wins.” with Buzz Aldrin sitting close by. Then Dr. Tyson talked about Apollo worship and I pretended to bow down to Dr. Aldrin which got a few chuckles. Later, I remember that I had been accused for being a member of the Moon Cult by a NASA Administrator. I used to surround myself with Lunar and Apollo memorabilia.  My Husband proposed marriage in the next to the Saturn 5 Model at the National Air and Space Museum. My first daughter, born less than a week after I attended Pete Conrad’s funeral, on the 30th anniversary of the Apollo 11 Splash Down on return to Earth and named, Selena. (My Second daughter is named Diana.) So maybe I do worship Apollo a little or at least the Moon.

Dr. Buzz Aldrin gave a presentation showing many options for NASA in the Future, which I could not do justice trying to explain. I hope he uses this blog as a place to publicize his ideas. Dr. Aldrin did suggested that we should fill the gaps between programs with extra programs. He also attributed the success of Apollo to principles- Flexibility and Open Minds. Those are principles which need to be embraced today.

Dr. Aldrin also said that Inauguration Day was his birthday and that he had asked to march in the Inaugural Parade.  He is now waiting for Secret Service approval. I hope you get your birthday wish, Buzz.

Ad Luna,

Karen Shea

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5 Responses to My Day with Buzz Aldrin

  1. Arthur Smith says:

    Karen – thanks for this, even if you are an Apollo worshiper/Moon cultist! :-) It would be nice to hear some more details on what Buzz talked about – do you have any links or anything on that? Thanks!

    • karenNSSshea says:

      Buzz talked for 1.5 hours from 2 small pages of hand writen notes with a few slides. It might end up on the Space Studies Board web site by I am not sure.

      Buzz talked about a proposed XM Module based on Boeing’s Habitat Module for the Space Station. Which could be used as a space habitat for long duration missions to Comet Wirtanen to arrive at the Commet on December 7, 2018. And later be used for a trip to Phobos. He went into a lot of technical detail which I had trouble keeping up with because I have not paid very much attention to all the space hardware. I think I am leaving out some posible destinations he discussed.

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  3. Arthur Smith says:

    Ah, so future being “beyond the Moon”. NEO visits would be cool, as would Phobos.

    By the way, it sounds like it didn’t come up in this instance, but have you heard anything about this “Jupiter” alternative to Ares for post-shuttle launch? A blog post about that would be interesting. Thanks, and thanks for doing all these so far.

    • karenNSSshea says:

      Feel Free to write something on Jupiter or other space subjects. I could post it or you could ask Jim Plaxco for an author password and become a regular contributor.

      I am into lunar settlement. Rockets are just trucks that get you to the Moon. As long as the truck works who cares. (Lots of males.)

      I think Buzz mentioned the Jupiter but I was thinking he was talking about and old rocket rather than a new one. I might have misunderstood.

      Buzz seemed to be highly in favor of COTS and not thrilled with the Ares.

      Buzz Aldrin quoted Werner Von Braun ” We will never put people on a solid rocket. We can’t shut them down.” I remeber discussion that the solid rockets for the shuttle were chosen because of political presure from Utah. Utah still has a lot of political clout.

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