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Today NASA sent a crew of seven on the Space Shuttle Atlantis for a service call.
On the Hubble space telescope -- five spacewalks are planned.
To update hubble's cameras batteries gyroscopes who's -- -- be -- first maintenance trip for the space telescope in seven years and -- get another shuttle by the -- standing by -- trouble.
While all this may be for good indefensible reasons.
NASA just doesn't have anywhere near the same market share for public attention it did in the days when we actually sent men to destinations.
Beyond planet earth.
To discuss how to get back to the market share NASA has lost.
We turn to the man who piloted the first lunar module and a second person ever to walk on the moon.
Astronaut Buzz Aldrin is joining us also joining us from Kennedy Space Center in Florida via Skype.
Is space and aviation journalist miles O'Brien gentlemen it's an honor to talk to both Libya.
Miles I wanna go to you first just -- to sort of describe what it is that this mission.
Is about why it's so necessary go ahead.
You summed it up well David last ditch effort this is the last opportunity to repair the Hubble space telescope which was launched in April of 199019.
Years in orbit.
Several systems have gone out of -- several sensors are no longer working.
They have five very busy spacewalks to try to resuscitate those old systems change out a couple of key boxes.
Puts a new gyroscopes and and some new batteries give it at least five years of new life.
Perhaps much longer and put on -- -- attached point.
For a future rocket that will go up -- robotic rocket rocket that will go -- attached to it.
And allow it to be.
When the -- days are over.
I like that official NASA were clogged.
Buzz clock yes it's always a pleasure and an honor to talk you Buzz Aldrin I really appreciate you come again.
But you know what I was saying I know your big supporter of NASA for very good reasons but the market share the the attention span of the American public.
Has diminished so much in today's -- almost forty years ago -- come July I believe.
When you did actually walk on the moon how to.
How -- we get that market -- back -- is it possible that we have to send man to another.
Object in space.
Well I I think he would need to be careful about what we decide to do in the future.
And of course I've been around for a good while looking at things we've been doing.
Making a judgment my own self as to how we might be able to do things better.
And you know I I think I've been ahead of the game with reusable booster is with the injectable pods for the shuttle.
And and other ways of -- getting a spacecraft.
With fewer people and cargo.
And place of an orbital space plane.
But I think I'm really getting very close.
In my own mind -- there's two really.
Zeroing in on what I think we really should think very strongly about and what did you say overall the overall.
Is US global space leadership.
And there are many ways we can do that.
By the time that shuttle is.
And I actually IA I think we get extended.
With one year intervals for a good number -- years is still keep the workforce.
Busy on that next systems that they'll be working on in between the shuttle launches.
But I think the American people -- -- there astronauts come back and land on a runway.
For thirty years and to have to look forward to the next twenty years.
Landing in the ocean again the way we did and Mercury Gemini and Apollo.
Now -- -- and the spacecraft did.
Can take people to the moon and beyond.
Probably does need to be the kind of shape that it is like -- take advantage of that those good judge choices and land that in the ocean.
But to take cargo up and cargo down -- you can land that in the ocean but not be able.
The gap we're facing is a people transfer into the station and just because we want to -- the cheapest way.
Instead have all this -- planes that we've studied.
The lifting body runway Landers that we -- look at that for 101520.
Years certainly we could make a wonderful.
-- have selecting that to eventually.
Be the US and international commercial international way taking eight people are -- low earth orbit and back.
Well that's at eleven I just throw that's -- miles of -- -- buzz and miles what about that the of the possibility of really kind of sharing it.
The wealthier that is turning it into I have business -- government enterprise or even.
More heavily business and government enterprise it's -- sort of the the golden ring that we've been trying for four years and we've never quite made it.
Well I don't essentially getting a second but I want to throw that's a mile ahead miles.
Out of -- -- a Buzz Aldrin but I I will say this David.
After all these years of flying it has become a bit of a technological and a public relations debt and for NASA.
And if it's time to say goodbye to the space shuttle I mean there -- a lot of people the space business who don't like the notion of a five year gap or more.
Where Americans -- to hitch a ride on a Russian rocket Russian taxi.
In order to get into space and a lot of people would say why not spend -- three billion dollars a year it cost to keep the shuttle program going.
While you're building this new rocket it it's not such a bad idea.
Having said that the shuttle has some clear safety issues in this new rocket will have.
Fundamentally better safety capabilities for -- and more to your point about the business and commercial aspects of -- -- -- you make a decision to go to the moon.
And you wanna set up a camp out there -- we have to come up with.
Earth and we're not earth movers read to -- movers on the moon.
-- don't work electrically while caterpillar equipment would probably love to get involved in that and if NASA could provide the seed money to make an electric.
Read the -- mover they can do work on the moon that's gonna have inevitably lead to spin offs here on on earth so.
Buzz is right -- destination it's important.
Not only for technological competitive reasons but also for public relations reasons because David people will tune in more if people are going somewhere or -- around and around -- circle.
And I got to stay buzz when when you were talking we were running video of of your trip to the moon and there is nothing more compelling.
Then seeing an human being walking on an object in space other than that the planet so I mean it.
Yeah until we get to that what we only have about thirty seconds more buzz but until.
We get to that point again where we put a man on another planet or another object in space.
I just don't see is at getting the same attention for the space programs.
-- not not at all by the time is that that's asked of it right now is that they couldn't get back to the moon.
-- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- And I think by that time we can be visiting -- by comments visiting their earth objects.
And gradually preparing to go to the moon.
Bars not the moon of the -- And there we can control robots on the surface and and I think we can make gradual commitments to do this.
But to go back to the moon and set up habitation.
Fifty years after we've been there before in the last century let's help the internationals do that.
And let's help them spend the resources that we spent on the space station got so that we can go to the next major step.
Which is human beings on a planet our another planet in our solar.
You've got to leave it at that Buzz Aldrin from your lips let's hope somebody's listening inside about it sounds like a wonderful worthwhile project to at least an exciting what miles O'Brien.
Great to see -- -- thanks very much what.
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