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Astronaut Buzz Aldrin, Again on Artemis Lunar Project, Wants To Bring in China

Oct. 21, 2019 (EIRNS)—Speaking yesterday at the International Academy of Astronautics’ Academy Day, in conjunction with the annual International Astronautical Congress (Oct. 21-25), Apollo 11 astronaut Buzz Aldrin called for a NASA partnership with China, and other spacefaring nations, in NASA’s Project Artemis to return to the Moon and go to Mars.

Aldrin also specified “space allies” Russia, Japan, India, the European Space Agency, and later other nations, as part of a “Space Exploration Alliance” with the United States.

The globally well-known astronaut, one of the first two on the Moon in 1969, is an advocate of the commercial space companies, such as SpaceX and Blue Origin, being centrally involved in the Moon-Mars mission. But, he said, their focus on business success means that simply working with NASA will not provide the vision for space missions.

“If there is this Space Exploration Alliance ... working on something somewhere, now there are increased markets, there are increased reasons for SpaceX and Blue Origin to share and to work with the rest of the world.” The alliance, he said, “should make room for India, Australia, the United Arab Emirates,” and other entities that have the capability to advance space exploration. “Obviously, SpaceX has that capability, and so does Blue Origin, but it’s rather narrowly directed, based upon the desires of return.”

Aldrin, like many, criticizes the Gateway lunar space station feature of NASA’s Artemis plan, and thinks that transfer spacecraft should go from Earth orbit to lunar landing.

NASA finished main assembly of the first giant SLS (space launch system) rocket in September at Michoud Assembly Facility of the Marshall Space Center, and it has proposed a contract to United Space Alliance (Boeing-Lockheed) for 10 more “core stages” for 10 more SLS rockets. It will include the costs of this contract in its five-year budget proposal to Congress in February 2020.

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