Legendary astronaut Buzz Aldrin, who landed on the moon 40 years ago Monday, says the United States should set its sights on a mission to Mars.
Aldrin appeared on the television news program Fox News Sunday, on the eve of the 40th anniversary of the Apollo 11's lunar landing.
Aldrin said Mars appears to be a more suitable and habitable environment for human beings. He said he would like NASA to come up with a plan that does not abandon trips to the moon, but instead focuses on a mission to Earth's neighbor, the planet Mars.
Astronauts have not returned to the Earth's moon since 1972. Aldrin described the lunar surface as "magnificent desolation," and he emphasized Sunday that it is a lifeless place that probably has not changed much in 100,000 years.
Aldrin was actually the second man to set foot on the moon. His fellow Apollo 11 astronaut Neil Armstrong was the first. On July 20, 1969, Armstrong uttered the now famous words, "That's one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind," when he stepped off the lunar landing craft onto the surface of the moon.