Buzz Aldrin Explains Importance of Obama's Mars Mission

On "Washington Unplugged" Friday, Host Bob Schieffer spoke with former astronaut Buzz Aldrin, the second man on the Moon and pilot of the lunar module on Apollo 11.

President Obama outlined his position on NASA's future this week, which Aldrin, unlike some other astronauts, supports. Speaking with Schieffer, he gave his perspective on the future of America's space program, colonies in space, and his experience on "Dancing With the Stars."

The man who is known as the second man to step on the surface of the Moon said he never wanted the publicity of being number one.

"I didn't really want to be first, but nobody believed me!" said Aldrin.

Aldrin said the key to the space program in the future is sustainable colonies on celestial bodies, rather than on orbiting space stations. Aldrin said he wanted to see "permanence on Mars within 15 years," and that Mars' moon Phobos may be the best spot for a permanent settlement.

"This moon is the key to permanence of human beings from Earth on another planet in the solar system," said Aldrin.

Aldrin also discussed his experience dancing on TV, and his rap song "Rocket Experience," recorded with rappers Snoop Dogg and Talib Kweli and produced by the legendary Quincy Jones.

Also on Unplugged Friday was the debut of 'Flash Points,' a new weekly series in which CBS News National Security analyst Juan Zarate discusses the major news of the week. This week he took on the Nuclear Summit in Washington, the government overthrow in Kyrgyzstan, and the mysterious sinking of a South Korean warship.

Watch the show above, which also includes a piece by Unplugged's Kaylee Hartung on the changing face of public diplomacy and new media technologies.

"Washington Unplugged" appears live on CBSNews.com each weekday at 12:30 p.m. ET. Click here to check out previous episodes. =http:>

  • Evan Schwartz

Comments

CBSN Live

pop-out
Live Video

Watch CBSN Live

Watch CBS News anytime, anywhere with the new 24/7 digital news network. Stream CBSN live or on demand for FREE on your TV, computer, tablet, or smartphone.