Buzz Aldrin ‘disappointed’ in America’s progress since Apollo 11: ‘We have the number one rocket and spacecraft and they can’t get into lunar orbit’

Speaking at an event honoring Apollo 11, Buzz Aldrin, the second man to walk on the Moon, said he’s “disappointed” with the progress America’s space program has made over the past 50 years.

“[I’m] disappointed in the progress in the past 50 years,” Aldrin said at the event held in the Oval Office. “We had a rocket, the Saturn 5. We have the [number one] rocket and spacecraft and they can’t get into lunar orbit. That’s a great disappointment to me.”

NASA’s Administrator, Jim Bridenstine, who is also at the event, said the space agency is “working on it.”

FILE – In this Feb. 5, 2019, file photo, astronaut Buzz Aldrin arrives for President Donald Trump’s State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress on Capitol Hill in Washington. A legal fight between Aldrin and his adult children over whether the former astronaut was competent to manage his affairs ended Wednesday, March 13, averting a messy, intrafamily squabble from hanging over celebrations this summer of the 50th anniversary of his Apollo 11 moon-walking. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, File)

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During the event, Trump said that the Moon landing was “one of the greatest achievements ever,” before adding America would eventually go to Mars, noting “From a defense standpoint, it’s very important.”

Trump asked whether astronauts could go straight to Mars without first going to the Moon, to which Bridenstine said no, that a gateway is needed to eventually journey to the Red Planet.

President Donald Trump welcomed Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins to the White House on Friday. Family members of Apollo 11 Mission Commander Neil Armstrong were also present at the event to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Moon landing on July 20.

As part of the Apollo 11 50th Anniversary celebrations, a stunning image of the Saturn V rocket that carried Armstrong, Aldrin and Collins into space, has been projected onto the Washington Monument this week.

Only 12 men, all Americans, have walked on the Moon.

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Fox News’ James Rogers and Matt Leach contributed to this story.

This story is developing…

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