The message seems straightforward enough: “Get your ass to Mars.”
Buzz Aldrin—a former US astronaut and the second man to ever step foot on the moon—still has a driving passion for space exploration. He has also dedicated his life to sharing that passion and ensuring that the youth of today get the education and inspiration they need to drive the next-generation of space exploration through efforts like his ShareSpace Foundation.
The mission of the ShareSpace Foundation is to improve science literacy and ignite passion for science, technology, engineering, arts and math (STEAM) education among children. ShareSpace provides children with an opportunity to experience pivotal moments of discovery and spark their imaginations about what’s possible.
The ShareSpace Foundation website states, “The National Research Council states that early exposure to STEM supports children’s overall academic growth, develops early critical thinking and reasoning skills, and enhances later interest in STEM study and careers. Even more so, by integrating Art and Design into STEM education, children will be even more equipped and inspired to become innovators of the 21st century.”
Aldrin has created exclusive, limited edition “Get Your Ass To Mars” t-shirts, sweatshirts, and hoodies to raise money for his ShareSpace Foundation. The fundraising effort runs through October 19 and all proceeds go to support the ShareSpace Foundation.
Buzz is still traveling around Earth—not as fast as he once did while in outer space but faster than most. He is at the IAC (International Astronautical Congress) in Jerusalem this week, and next week he’ll be in Colorado for book signing and a private event. He is a very busy person, but I had the privilege of speaking with him this week about the fundraising effort. I had an opportunity to speak with Buzz about his efforts to evangelize for space exploration and the “Get Your Ass To Mars” campaign itself.
There’s a lot of interest about Mars right now thanks to NASA’s Opportunity Mars rover and the success of the movie The Martian. Buzz has been thinking about Mars and manned space travel to Mars for much longer than most of us, though, and he has a comprehensive, detailed plan to make it happen published on his website called Cycling Pathways to Occupy Mars.
Buzz also recently published a children’s book with Marianne J. Dyson through National Geographic Kids titled Welcome to Mars: Making a Home on the Red Planet. The blurb on Amazon describes it, “Space is still the final frontier and Mars continues to make news and attract generations of young people. In this fascinating book, hero-astronaut Buzz Aldrin challenges curious kids to think about Mars as not just a faraway red planet but as a possible future home for Earthlings!”
When I spoke to Buzz he wished me luck trying to keep up with him. He is a very active person, but thanks to technology there are plenty of ways to keep up with Buzz. You can subscribe to his newsletter, follow him on Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube, and download the Buzz Aldrin iPhone app.
Space exploration is important to the future of mankind, and the youth of today are crucial to the future of space exploration. Do your part to help educate and inspire the next generation of astronauts by purchasing one of Buzz Aldrin’s “Get Your Ass To Mars” shirts. The clock is ticking—you only have until October 19.