“Beautiful View; Magnificent Desolation” – Happy Birthday, Buzz Aldrin!
It was an incredible honor to meet Buzz Aldrin, one of the three astronauts who pioneered space exploration by landing the Apollo 11 on the moon on July 20, 1969. Just before planting the American flag on the lunar surface and saluting it, Buzz famously commented, “Beautiful view; magnificent desolation,” referring to the awesome view of the Earth juxtaposed against the desolate lunar wasteland.
Buzz and I chatted about how different modern-day rockets are from the rockets utilized by NASA during his time as an astronaut. There is so much applied nanotechnology in today’s rockets! For example, nanomaterials are used to make the structural frames lighter yet stronger, to provide more efficient sources of fuel, and to power more sophisticated sensors. Buzz agrees that a workforce educated in nanotechnology is essential for space exploration. With the next frontier in space exploration being sending teams to Mars, even more nanotechnology will be incorporated to result in faster, lighter, stronger, more powerful rockets that can travel farther than ever before.
Happy birthday, Buzz!