London, July 20 (ANI): Captain Alan Bean, the fourth person to walk on the moon, says that it's time of the U.S. to forget about going back, and to join forces with the international community to focus on a mission to Mars instead.
The presently 77-year-old man, who was part of the Apollo 12 mission, thinks that scientists should now try to explore frontiers in space.
The historic moment when astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin became the first men to walk on the lunar surface came on July 20, 1969, and NASA is planning to return to the moon by 2020.
However, according to Sky News, Captain Bean says: "We ought to gather the international community and go to Mars. I know it isn't how others feel because it is much cheaper to go back to the moon but I would rather we went to Mars. If we did it with all those other countries it would have a tremendously unifying effect on the earth. It would be an inspiration for all people on earth."
Buzz Aldrin, the second man to walk on the moon, has already expressed his feeling that Mars should be the primary target for NASA.
The US space agency, however, is said to be more concerned at the outcome of a review of human space flight, ordered by President Barack Obama, and due to report in August.
Meanwhile, NASA has held a series of events to mark the 40th anniversary of the Apollo landing.
Armstrong himself made a rare public appearance alongside his Apollo 11 colleagues, Aldrin and Michael Collins, on Sunday night. (ANI)