Supporting Settlement of Mars Key to Institute’s Mission
MELBOURNE, FLA. — Florida Institute of Technology today held a signing ceremony formalizing the establishment of the Buzz Aldrin Space Institute at the university. Opening this fall and led by legendary Apollo 11 astronaut Buzz Aldrin, the Institute will promote the settlement of Mars through research.
“Florida Tech has long been at the forefront of exploration—since the days of our founding in 1958, serving as the ‘night school for missilemen’ when America began the race for space at Cape Canaveral,” said Florida Tech President and CEO Anthony J. Catanese. “Having Dr. Aldrin build this new initiative at Florida Tech is indeed an honor. We look forward to meaningful collaboration as humankind’s new vision for space unfolds.”
Aldrin joins the university faculty as Florida Tech Research Professor of Aeronautics and will serve as Senior Faculty Advisor for the Institute.
“We welcome Dr. Aldrin to the Florida Tech faculty,” said T. Dwayne McCay, Florida Tech executive vice president and COO. “Our entire learning community will benefit from his presence.”
The Institute will support commercial and international development of lunar resources to support an eventual Mars settlement. Dr. Aldrin’s concept is called Cycling Pathways to Occupy Mars. The proposed architecture establishes pathways of progressive missions to cis-lunar space, asteroids, Phobos, and eventually to the surface of Mars.
“I’m thrilled to be partnering with FIT in my new home state of Florida,” said Dr. Aldrin. “I am proud of my time at NASA with the Gemini 12 and Apollo 11 programs but I hope to be remembered more for my contributions to the future. FIT will play a key role in my ongoing legacy and Cycling Pathways to Occupy Mars. You ain’t seen nothing yet!”
Since retiring from NASA and the U.S. Air Force, Aldrin, who earned a Doctorate of Science in Astronautics from MIT before being named an astronaut in 1963, has remained at the forefront of efforts to ensure America’s continued leadership in human space exploration. He began to devise a master plan in 1985 for missions to Mars known as the “Aldrin Mars Cycler” – a spacecraft system with perpetual cycling orbits between Earth and Mars. He has refined the concept over the years continues research on it. Aldrin has received three U.S. patents for his schematics of a modular space station, Starbooster reusable rockets, and multi-crew modules for space flight. He founded Starcraft Boosters, Inc., a rocket design company, and Buzz Aldrin’s ShareSpace Foundation, a nonprofit devoted to addressing science literacy for children by igniting their passion for science, technology, engineering, arts and math (STEAM) through delivering hands-on STEAM activities and inspirational messages.
As part of this new partnership, The Buzz Aldrin Special Collection and Archives will be established at the university’s Evans library, and will document Aldrin’s life.
Aldrin joins two other astronauts on the Florida Tech faculty—Winston Scott and Sam Durrance, who both flew on the space shuttle. Scott served on STS-72 and STS-87, while Durrance served on the STS-35/Astro-1 and STS-67/Astro-2 missions.
For a biography of Aldrin, visit http://buzzaldrin.com/the-man/biography/.
For more about Florida Tech, visit http://www.fit.edu/.