Aldrin Blames Lack of Interest in Space Program on Science Fiction

Forget shifting priorities or a de-emphasis on science education; this week, Buzz Aldrin told the Sci Fi Channel that the real culprit behind youth disinterest in space exploration is none other than science fiction. Et tu, Buzz? After the jump, find out why Aldrin is taking the genre to task.

The one-time lunar explorer claims that the fantasical promises of space-themed science fiction has left consumers of sci-fi media disappointed with the real thing:

I blame the fantastic and unbelievable shows about space flight and rocket ships that are on today… [I]f you start dealing with fantasy and beaming people up and down and traveling seven times the speed of light, you are doing damage. You're not helping. You have young people who have got expectations that are far unrealistic, and you can't possibly live up to the expectations you have created in young people. Why do they get bored with the space program? That's why.

Interestingly enough, in 1996 Aldrin co-authored his own work of science fiction with veteran novelist John Barnes. But Encounter with Tiber seems not to fall prey to the vision of the future Aldrin has so bitterly condemned. Rather, the lead character finds she has so much time on her hands while en route to Alpha Centauri that she churns out several biographies, which make up most of the 600 page tome.

Aldrin Slams SF's Effect On Space [Scifi Wire]