The first time Buzz Aldrin filled out the forms to be a NASA astronaut, his application was turned down. He was a jet fighter and the newly formed space agency was only interested in test pilots. Aldrin applied again and this time he was accepted, partly because NASA was intrigued by the thesis he had recently completed at MIT: “Guidance for Manned Orbital Rendezvous” – an outline of a plan for two piloted spacecraft to meet in space. This would hardly be the first time Aldrin would have ideas for NASA. The underwater training for the first Apollo mission was his idea. And he holds three US patents for his schematics of a modular space station, reusable rockets and multi-crew modules for space flight.
Many decades have passed since Aldrin stepped onto the moon’s surface and uttered the words that popped into his head: magnificent desolation. And he still has a lot more ideas fo space exploration: cycling ships and a flexible path concept; Block 1 Exploration Modules and the Aldrin Mars Cycler — all things he talked about in his interview with Bob. Aldrin also talked about an infamous punch he once threw. You can see it here:
Aldrin’s new book, published by National Geographic, is Mission to Mars: My Vision for Space Exploration