He envisions using Mars’ moons, Phobos and Deimos, as preliminary stepping stones for astronauts. He said he dislikes the label “one-way” and imagines tours of duty lasting 10 years.

“The Pilgrims on the Mayflower came here to live and stay. They didn’t wait around Plymouth Rock for the return trip, and neither will people building up a population and a settlement” on Mars.

As for Aldrin, he’s recently settled in nearby Satellite Beach, right on the Atlantic Ocean, after moving from California. He told reporters he considers it “a terminal assignment,” using Air Force jargon.

“I’ve traded earthquakes and fires for hurricanes by coming to Florida,” he said.