Esteemed astronaut and punch-thrower Buzz Aldrin wants NASA to build a "permanent Mars base" by 2031.
Aldrin went as far as to say that the base needs to be "the most important goal of the U.S. space program" during a Facebook Q&A as part of NewSpace 2014. He even has a 25-year plan for the base.
"In 2009, my submission to the Augustine Commission of United Space Vision had the U.S. leading internationals with landing on Mars in 2031," Aldrin said. "I believe it may take us until just before 2040, which is just two decades from the anniversary of landing on the moon."
Without funding, though, it's difficult to say whether Aldrin's proposal will ever turn into action. NASA's budget request for $17.5 million this year includes a $185 million cut from its budget last year.
Aldrin is still confident in America's space programs, though. "We are innovators because of the freedoms we enjoy... that is our strong suit," he said.