Buzz Aldrin, the second man to walk on the Moon, was in New Zealand recently and made an interesting proposal to form an international coalition to explore and eventually colonize Mars. Aldrin, though, had an interesting twist:
“‘But I think if we can take the English-speaking people … we can have American science, technology and bring together the UK, Australia, New Zealand, India and South Africa … and have a togetherness organisation,’ he told AAP in Sydney on Thursday.”
There are some interesting aspects to Buzz Aldrin’s “togetherness organization.”
Indians actually speak a variety of languages, but use English as a second lingua franca for business and politics. South Africans also speak Afirkaans and a variety of native African languages.
For some reason, Aldrin left out Canada, which is officially bilingual, but is still predominantly English speaking. This is especially curious because Canada has contributed much to the American space effort, building the robot manipulator arm used on space shuttles and the International Space Station, and contributing a number of astronauts.
Still, the idea of an English-only colony on Mars holds possibilities for enhancing the Anglosphere’s prestige on Earth and irritating countries where English is not spoken. For some countries, like China, Russia, and many countries in the Middle East, this is not a problem. They deserve to be irritated.
On the other hand, France, Germany, Italy, and Japan, among other friendly countries, are going to feel rather left out. Perhaps they can form their own “togetherness organization” and race the English speakers to Mars. Then we’ll have an incentive not to slack off. Can’t allow the Frogs to beat us to the Red Planet. We would never hear the end of it.
Aldrin’s scheme, by the way, fits into the Obama/Bolden “mission to the Muslims” meme. Muslims make up about 14 percent of India.
One big problem with Aldrin’s scheme to expand the Anglosphere to the heavens is that he has picked the wrong initial target. There is still the Moon, with its water deposits and potential wealth in helium 3, to get at. The Moon is also the Gibraltar of the Solar System: an impregnable fortress that could be used to block access to space by any other country.
Aldrin’s disdain for going back to the Moon is a little puzzling. President Obama has famously said that we don’t need to go back to the Moon because Aldrin has already been there. But the President is given to saying many foolish things. Aldrin cannot possibly agree with that.
So, by all means, let’s gather some allies, including some non-English-speaking ones, and head for the Moon, Mars, and beyond.
Source: Buzz Aldrin calls for NZ to help in Mars exploration, Stuff.Com, September 9th, 2010