On July 20, 1969, the first two humans landed on the moon. One of them was Neil Armstrong, and the other was Buzz Aldrin. And as of this week, Buzz is taking people to Mars via Virtual Reality.
He says he wants to leave a legacy behind, and he’s doing so as a hologram in a Virtual Reality presentation created by TIME LIFE VR.
“Leaving an image behind for other people to see,” Aldrin explained, “is like eternal life in a way. It gives a glimpse of me while I’m explaining what our future might be. I want to be remembered for more than just kicking up moon dust.”
The presentation, called Cycling Pathways to Mars stars Buzz (as a hologram) in a VR world starting on the moon and taking us to Mars based on his thoughts on how it could be done. He envisions a future in which we have multiple ships moving between Earth and Mars, and smaller shuttles docking with them on the way when orbital distances and gravitational pulls and pushes make the most sense, sort of like a galactic express train line meeting up with the local one at particular stops.
He also believes it would make sense to first land on Mars’ moon Phobos as a staging area before heading to the surface.
“We don’t have to get people there until we need to do the delicate [work]. We get them up there, they know what they have to do and they get it done,” Aldrin told Engadget.
Aldrin, 87, won’t be around to see Mars landings and subsequent colonization, but he’s certainly leaving a legacy behind for the first human Martians.
If you want to get in on the Mars fun, the experience is available for free on Steam for HTC Vive, Oculus Rift and OSVR.